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Experiment: How in the Wow Do Sharks Float?

Ever wonder how in the wow a shark can float? Turns out it has a lot to do with their oily liver! Give this experiment a try and you will learn all about buoyancy and shark anatomy.


  • 2 small, empty plastic water bottles
  • cooking oil
  • water
  • sink, bathtub or plastic tub
  • permanent markers (optional)


Step 1: For this experiment, the bottles will represent sharks. If you like you can go ahead and draw some shark faces onto the bottles before getting started.

Step 2: Fill one bottle with water and the other one with oil, making sure the two bottles are filled up with equal amounts of liquid. Seal them tightly!

Step 3: Fill a sink, bathtub or plastic tub with enough water so that fully submerging the bottles would be possible.

Step 4: The bottles represent sharks and the oil represents the oil that is found inside of a shark’s liver. Before you drop the two bottles into the water, make a prediction (or an educated guess) about what you think will happen to each bottle as you place them in the water.

Step 5: Now carefully place the bottles into the water and observe what happens. Share what in the wow happened with friends and family!