I came across q picture on the net and now I'm skeptical that it's possible. I know liquids from different density scale wouldn't mix easily but stacking them on top of eachother with perfectly visible borders is something else. No more explanation! Here is the said picture. Is it possible?
enter image description here

  • 13
    Simple answer is yes- bar staff do this all the time when making layered cocktails. You can do it yourself given a steady hand. Check out mixthatdrink.com/how-to-pour-a-layered-cocktail for instructions and video.
    – Rory Alsop
    Oct 9, 2012 at 16:14
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    Note that for it to be very stable, you want the layers to alternate hydrophobic/hydrophilic so there is a resistance to mixing at the boundaries. You can see in that picture that the honey and corn syrup and maple syrup are mixing to some extent while the Lamp oil and rubbing alcohol have a crisp border.
    – Nick
    Oct 9, 2012 at 16:41
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    There are mixed drinks that rely upon this trick. That is to say that you can see it done in any upscale bar... Oct 9, 2012 at 22:47
  • This is even possible with gases to some extent, as demonstrated in this experiment.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jan 27, 2014 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


Yes, of course it's possible. It's one of the best ways to extract compounds in chemical workups via separating funnels:


Denser liquids will move to the bottom of the funnel. Often polar or non-polar solvents will be added depending on the compound (Alcohols or Benzenes were common in my labs). You then open the tap at the bottom, extract whatever portion you want, and then continue to process the compound (usually to a salt or powder).

Here's the video that the picture you reference was captured from: Amazing 9 Layer Density Tower

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