Some of my kids’ other ideas for naming this were “yucky goo,” “slime chunks,” “goblin guts,” and my favorite: “ghost barf.”

I think it was my brother who came home and showed me this trick when I was a kid, and once, when I homeschooled my oldest son (for all of about five minutes), we tried it making it at home. It was once included in a Martha Stewart Kids magazine (September/October 2004), and was called “Cornstarch Quicksand”. Oh, how I miss that publication. That’s where my kids saw it this week and begged me to make it.

For about 20 cents, this stuff will keep my kids occupied for a good hour. I imagine it’s a fantastic stress reliever for grownups, too. All you need is some cornstarch and water, and you end up with a strange substance that oozes when you handle it slowly, and tough and resistant when you try to force it quickly.


To make it, pour 1 cup of cornstarch into a bowl.


Add in 1/2 cup of water.


Mix together with your hands. If the mixture ends up a little too lumpy and chunky, add in about a tablespoon more of water. Keep mixing until smooth.


Now try punching it. Your fist won’t even break the surface.


Now try lifting it, and let it ooze through your fingers.


To learn a little about the science behind these mummy brains, which are considered a non-Newtonian fluid, you can look at this post on WiseGeek.