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article imageVideo: Coke Zero, Mentos-powered rocket car travels 239 feet

By Kim I. Hartman     Dec 9, 2011 in Odd News
Buckfield - The EepyBird guys from Maine, best known for creating fizzing fountains from Diet Coke and Mentos, claim they have set a distance record in their homemade rocket car with Coke Zero and Mentos powered propulsion.
Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz have created a single-passenger rocket car powered by 54 bottles of Coke Zero and 324 individual Mentos candies in another glorified attempt to transform everyday life into something unforgettable, says their website.
According to the video description the Mark II, piloted by "one idiot," traveled 239 feet, improving upon last year's 220 feet, set with by the Mark l, with only half the fuel. Other attempts by the team can be found on their YouTube channel.
The EepyBird teams shared the secret behind the rocket car propulsion system:
"The Coke Zero & Mentos Rocket Car uses a piston mechanism: a six-foot long rod sits inside a six-foot long tube attached to each bottle of Coke Zero. When the Mentos drop into the soda, the pressure tries to push the rod out of the tube. With 54 rods all pushing at once, that gives us a lot of power."
"All that power is pushing against a solid wall that's attached to a sheet of plywood that runs under the rocket car itself -- so the wall won't move, the rocket car will. We get one big push for six feet, and then it's all coasting from there."
The duo warns viewers against trying this at home. "There is a huge amount of power involved, and we don't want you to get hurt," they said.
Grobe and Voltz shot to fame in 2006 after a video was posted on YouTube that showed them dressed in lab coats, wearing goggles, as they orchestrated the "Extreme Diet Coke and Mento's Experiment." That display, shown below, garnered over 14 million viewers on the video-sharing website, and another 20 million on their site earning them the first-ever Webby Award for viral videos in 2007.
The colorful geysers created by Grobe and Voltz have their own cult-like following that has resulted in nearly 100 million views to content available online.
The team says the question they are most often asked:
What happens if you drink soda and then eat Mentos?
Their reply: "Well, a lot of the fizz goes away as you drink. Then when bubbles are released in your stomach, your stomach can expand a bit. And your stomach also has ways of, umm, releasing excess gas. The MythBusters showed that your stomach won’t explode, but it still wouldn’t be a lot of fun. Do not, repeat, do not be stupid and test the limits of your stomach. Don't even think about it."
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