Sulphur Hexafluoride gas makes toy ship floats magically

Sulphur_HexafluorideThis aluminium foil ship in the video appears to float magically above the ground in a tank. It is actually caused by the presense of a gas called sulphur hexafluoride which is significantly denser than air.

Some interesting facts about the gas:
It’s 5.11 times as dense as air. It’s non toxic, although it’s byproducts can be extremely dangerous.

Another interesting point is that inhaling this gas will make your voice sound deeper. Sound does not travel as fast in this medium. Helium can transmit sound very rapidly, hence making your voice squeaky.

Watch the video after the jump.

Source: Neatorama
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billyoz said…
safety tip: If you breath this gas, stand on your head to empty it out of your lungs afterward.
Jesse said…
While this gas is not "toxic" it is an asphyxiant. The gas is heavier than air and will displace the oxygen in your lungs. Breathing the gas can actually cause you to drown. EXTREME care should be taken when using this gas and it should never be inhaled.
Jesse said…
FYI here is a a copy of the MSDS for the gas:
Spluch said…
Thanks for the precautionary info everyone.
Anonymous said…
It is a myth that your lungs can't expel that gas on their own. Just take a few deep breaths to remove it.
MaGaO said…
As usual, sound speed has nothing to do with the effect on your voice. It's density: since sulphur hexafluoride is denser than air, the vocal chords can't vibrate at such a high frequency, which makes voice deeper. Conversely, helium is less dense than air, so vocal chords can vibrate faster.
Actually, the only effect on sound is that it propagates _faster_ in sulphur hexafluoride than in normal air, and faster in normal air than in helium (the denser the medium, the faster sound propagates).
Anonymous said…
what would happen if you put yo mama up in a hot air baloon with helium
Anonymous said…
it is a pure myth that you have to stand upside down to remove the air, your lungs work so effectively that you just breath in normally and the gas will remove itself.

it harmless but its best to take 5 heavy breaths of normal air to get the most amount of oxygen in your blood and lungs to avoid suffication and blackouts.

once done just take slow steady breaths just as you would do if you were underwater. if you breath too quickly the concentration will change too fast and may cause a panic attack