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Wintergreen Lifesavers – Lightning in your mouth

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Wintergreen Lifesavers

You know, I had always heard that Wintergreen LifeSavers would “spark” when chewed, but I don’t think I ever actually tried it. Evidently, it is true (and my wife says she has verified it). So, why does it do this? According to,

When you crunch on wintergreen candies, you are making light with friction. The scientific name for this process is triboluminescence, from the Greek word tribein, which means “to rub,” and the Latin word lumin, which means “light.”
[read more]

Here is another interesting site where someone crushed Wintergreeen LifeSavers with needle-nosed pliers and took some pictures of it. Pretty cool.

I’m going to have to figure out a way to work triboluminescence into a conversation. “I witnessed triboluminescence while eating my Wint-O-Green LifeSavers in the dark.”

Explanation from
Explanation from
Pictures of Wintergreen flashes

candy, wintergreen, science, mint, mints, lifesavers, lightning

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13 Responses to “Wintergreen Lifesavers – Lightning in your mouth”

  1. 1
    Wasting Prep Time | PFdebate says:

    [...] Wint-O-Green Lifesavers: Lightning in Your Mouth. Science! [...]

  2. 2
    andreia says:

    it was very helpful

  3. 3
    maddy kelly (again) says:

    well i asked this question earlier and did not get a very good response! but here it goes again… can you give me all the info on this lightning in you mouth!

    RESPONSE: The info is in the article. I\’m not sure what you are asking for.

  4. 4
    kenzie says:

    sorry maddy…cant help you there maybee you should try mentos in diet coke

  5. 5
    Trish says:

    The Lifesavers wint-o-green lightning experiment is a popular science experiment in school. I remember doing it several times- the last of which was sophmore year in high school (I’m 20).

  6. 6
    Gracie "Looooooo" Freebush says:

    I tried them and they taste disgusting. They are totally not lightning in yo mouth! Also y did you chose that catch phrase anyway?

    sincerely, Gracie “Loo” Freebush

  7. 7
    rikkie burden says:

    dude you are wrong tribo is greek for rubbing and luminescence is light that is gebeated without hign is pronuced try-bow-loom-in-ess-ence

  8. 8
    rikkie burden says:

    i got alot of info on this candy wint0green life savers
    im doing it for my science fair theres alot more to it than that

    Rikkie Burden

    Waz ERE

  9. 9
    Justin Whiteduck says:

    !00 boxes of yummy candy.

  10. 10
    Emely says:

    i think this is so cool…im doing it for my science showcase project i hope it works and that the judges like it

  11. 11
    Rrrr says:

    It totally works. Kinda awkward bitting with your teeth showing, and of course you have to be in the dark and watch another person or a mirror… but it does spark. They do taste pretty disgusting though. But still is a pretty cool ‘trick’

  12. 12
    Betty says:

    Years ago Bubby Gumps on Maui had soft (chewable) Wint O Green Lifesavors. I went back this year and they do not have them anymore. Does anyone know where I can get them?

  13. 13
    LLLL says:

    This works best if done in the dark. Get some pliers and put the lifesaver in. Turn off the lights, and wait for your eyes to adjust. After they adjust, crush the lifesavers and you will see a blue glow. To do this while chewing, make sure your mouth is dry and do it in front of a mirror.

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