Methane mamba

A long bubbly snake grows from a funnel of soapy water, and then it is ignited

Scientific name: Methane gas bubbling soapy water, and a bubble column is formed, then it is ignited


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Wear eyes protection. There is a serious fire risk - a fire extinguisher should be ready. Make sure there is nothing flammable nearby.

Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.

Reaction formula

CH4 + 2O2 → C02 + H2O


  1. Methane
  2. Soapy water

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Connect a funnel with a source of methane (gas line) by a hose. The hose should bend near the funnel.
  2. Pour soapy water into the funnel so that there is 1 cm between the water surface and the gas inlet.
  3. Begin thebubbling of methane. A long bubbly snake will formed.
  4. Carefully take the bubble column for the lower part with a wet hand, move away from the funnel, and ignite the bubbles in your hand.

Scientific background

Methane is less dense than air. In account of this, bubbles filled with methane will go upward and form the bubble column or the snake. Soap bubbles cling to a wet hand, and we can take a piece of the column in our hand. When ignited, methane burns quickly before it can burn a wet hand


Published on 18 March 2015

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst