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Real Science: Vampire Blood

Get out your garlic! This fang-tastic science experiment is sure to attract all of the vampires that may be lurking nearby. Science can be so much fun, especially when you add a Halloween twist to it! You’re going to have a gourd time making this vampire "blood!" 

Materials:

Materials needed to make Vampire

  • 2–3 cups of salad greens
  • Water
  • Ice
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil, plus additional oil if needed
  • Medium saucepan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Blender
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • UV light or blacklight
  • Plate or cup

Instructions:

1. Fill the saucepan ⅔ full with water and bring to a boil on the stove.
2. Add ice and water to the mixing bowl (have this ready before you complete step 3).
3. Add salad greens to the pan and boil for one minute.
4. Remove the salad greens from the boiling water with a large spoon and place them in the cold water for 1 minute.
5. Add salad greens to a blender with 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Blend until smooth.
6. The oil/leaf mixture should be thin; add additional oil and blend if needed.

Vampire
7. Place the strainer over a cup or bowl, and pour leaf mixture through the strainer. You will only need the liquid; anything in the strainer can be discarded.
8. Observe the color of the liquid in regular light then shine a UV light over the top.

Shining a UV light on the Vampire

For additional exploration, add a small amount of water to a cup with the oil mixture, to encourage the oil to float to the surface. You can also .spread a thin layer of the oil mixture on a plate and let it dry for a few minutes before shining the light on top.

Shining a UV light on vampire

What’s going on?

Plants contain chlorophyll, a chemical that allows the plant to converts sunlight into energy. Chlorophyll is what gives leaves their green color. To our eyes, plants are green because chlorophyll is able to absorb all visible light except for green, which is reflected back to our eyes. UV light, or black light, is shorter light waves than visible light but can be absorbed by plants. When UV light hits the chlorophyll, it causes the chlorophyll to emit or fluoresce a red glow.