Apparently this is a thing — different groups have been going back and forth over the last few years, topping each other in setting the world’s record for largest “elephant toothpaste” reaction. What is elephant toothpaste, you may ask? As Scientific American explains, hydrogen peroxide, when combined with a catalyst (such as sodium iodide or yeast) and some soap, rapidly breaks down into oxygen and water, which means a lot of bubbles which get trapped by the surface tension of the soap. As they put it, “This foam looks like a giant squeeze of toothpaste — almost big enough for an elephant!”
You can see the 2018 world record reaction here:
This was surpassed in 2019, as you can see below:
This was fairly rapidly replaced with a new record later that same year:
And then in 2020, as far as I can tell, the latest world’s record was set in the video below, with a new combination of materials creating an even more volatile reaction, dubbed “Devil’s Toothpaste”.
I’m not sure this means all that much, other than that chemistry is fun, that it’s nice that people have hobbies, and that I’m really glad I didn’t have to clean any of it up. The rainbow effect of the final record also gives us a prompt to wish all our readers a Happy Pride Month.