June 14, 2006 -- The Internet provides a venue for all kinds of silly homemade content, and now it appears to be giving a boost to two already successful products.
Many people are mixing Mentos and Diet Coke, filming the explosion that results from the combination and posting their videos online. At least 800 of these videos are posted on Web sites such as *YouTube and *Google Video.
They're getting thousands of online visitors.
Michio Kaku, a nuclear physicist, said that the explosion was triggered by the Diet Coke coming in contact with the candy.
"If you take a look at the Mentos, you see that the surface is not quite smooth," he said. "It's a little bit jagged and the powdery, more jagged the surface the more bubbles you're going to get. A lot of nook and crannies here. Plus, diet soda has more carbon dioxide than ordinary soda."
Mentos and Diet Coke should not be eaten together. Experts say the combination can make you throw up.
The makers of Mentos and Diet Coke couldn't be happier about the videos because the buzz adds up to millions of dollars in free advertising. Mentos' advertising budget is usually $20 million a year, and company officials estimate they've gotten at least $10 million in free name recognition.
Every Man's Art
The videotaped explosions have even become something of an art form.
Several creative men put more than 500 Mentos into 100 bottles of Diet Coke, creating a synchronized fountain of fizz. They set it to music and posted it on the Internet.
Once again, the Internet has proved that it has the power to make regular people stars.
Two Chinese college students made waves across the world with their take on a Backstreet Boys song. Gary Brolsma gained fame when he lip-synched the Romanian pop song, "Dragostea Din Tea."
The video of Brolsma's interpretive "Numa Numa" dance has been viewed more than 1 million times.
"We can see talent all over television and movies," said Sara Clemence, editor at Forbes.com. "We can see people polished up. We can see people totally trained to dance, but there's something very human about some of these videos. There is something very compelling about seeing some of the original and quirky people."
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