Tom Tit Home | Boek 2 | Pagina 41 | Nederlandsch / Frans / English

How to make a Banana peel Itself.

In the absence of an air-pump, we have seen that it is possible to create a partial vacuum in an air-tight vessel by heating the contained air while the vessel remains open, and then immediately sealing it hermetically. The internal air contracts on cooling, and with this partial vacuum we may obtain a variety of curious effects.

I shall first describe the experiment of the hard-boiled egg which enters the exhausted bottle of its own accord, albeit the neck is narrower than itself.

Throw a small piece of burning paper into an empty carafe, and securely close the mouth by pressing on it a hard-boiled egg whose shell has been effectually softened by soaking in strong vinegar. At the end of a few moments we shall see the egg growing longer and slenderer in the waist, till at last it is engulfed by the bottle, causing an amusing miniature explosion, due to the inrush of the atmosphere.

The following is a variation of this experiment: Replace the carafe by a bottle, and pour in about half an ounce of spirits of wine, which burn by throwing in a lighted match. Place a ripe banana on the top of the bottle, end-on. With a noise like a glutton sucking up the soup he loves, the bottle will begin to "take it in." Having taken the precaution to make a few longitudinal slits in the peel, you will see the latter thrown aside in strips, while the ripe fruit enters the bottle, ready for digestion.

This is one way to amuse a dinner company, with a banana obliging enough to peel itself.