Volume changes during solidification of water and olive oil

When the heating fails during a very cold winter, it may happen that the water pipes burst. Something similar happens when you put your drink bottle in a freezer and then leave it there by mistake.
Fish and other aquatic animals can survive in a lake when it is frozen.
These two issues that at first glance seem to have nothing to do with each other can be explained by a particular property of water


1. Fill one of the blisters and one of the ampoules completely with water and the others with olive oil.

2. Put them in an experimental tray for a few hours in the freezer.

3. Take the two frozen ampoules from the freezer first and compare them.

4. Fill a labeled infusion bottle with water and one with olive oil.

5. Now take the blisters from the freezer and quickly put the ice pellets into the bottle with the liquid water and the "olive oil pellets" into the bottle with the liquid olive oil. 


  1. Write down your obser­vations.

  2.  Compare the behavior of the water and the olive oil samples.

  3. Explain the phenomena described in the introduction with the help of these observations and the understanding gained from them.

  4. Which substance is "normal“? Give reasons by using the particle model. Find out from the Internet about the anomaly of density.

First published: 23.09.2015                                                             Last modification: 04.01.2016