Watch a YouTuber make the densest metal on earth float

Osmium can indeed float in magnetically-powered ferrofluids.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Have you heard of Osmium? It's a chemical element with the symbol Os and atomic number 76 that is found as a trace element in alloys, mostly in platinum ores. It is also the densest naturally occurring element which means that when it is placed in water it automatically sinks to the bottom.

But YouTuber The Action Lab found a way to make it float. You may remember this YouTuber from when he made a laser microscope using just a drop of water or when he invented a black mirror.

This time he took inspiration from his neodymium magnet and a bunch of ferrofluids, a liquid that is attracted to the poles of a magnet. Combining these two creates a force that sees the liquid push back against the floor and cascade into some funny shapes. 

The YouTuber asked himself whether he could make a ball of Osmium float inside the ferrofluids activated by the magnet. Indeed, it worked and the small silver ball bounced on the surface of the fluid.

As soon, as he removed the fluid from the magnet, however, the ball sunk down to the bottom. In addition to being fun to watch, this video explains some important principles about buoyancy. Watch the video to find out more.

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