BRIDGEPORT, W. Va. (WDTV) - This experiment is going to get a paper clip, that usually sinks, to float.
I have a bowl full of water and let's try to float a paper clip. Doesn't work.
Let's try a different approach.
Get a tissue and cut out a piece that is about the size of a dollar. Lay that piece of tissue on top of the water.
Put a dry paper clip on top of it. So it is not floating on top of the tissue but that doesn't count. To get the paper clip to float on its own, take the eraser end of a pencil and push the tissue down.
Your paperclip then floats!
So, why does it sink without the tissue?
Well, the paper clip isn't actually floating. It's staying on top of the water because of surface tension.
Surface tension is used by many insects to "walk" across the water. It basically means that there is a sort of skin on the surface of the water where the water molecules hold on tight together. So the paper clip isn't really floating but instead just being held up by surface tension.