Our science class did a lab about osmosis, where we left a gummy bear in solutions of salt and sugar, as well as tap water. When we came back, we were all surprised to see that our gummy bears in sugar water were nearly twice the size of any of the others.

This couldn’t possibly be some sort of anomaly since it happened with every group.

Our class has been searching online for reports that reproduce this result. We haven’t found one. My question is, why does this happen?

  • $\begingroup$ Hint: Solute (in this case sugar from the gummy bear) diffuses from region of high concentration to low concentration. $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2018 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ Please describe the experiment in more detail. Exactly which solutions were you comparing (what was their composition) and in which one did you see most swelling? $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn
    Oct 19, 2023 at 5:11

1 Answer 1


The answer is osmosis. In biology, osmosis is the movement of water molecules from a solution with a high concentration of water molecules to a solution with a lower concentration of water molecules, through a cell’s partially permeable membrane.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The OP is surprised because the sugar water, not the tap water, supposedly showed the biggest increase in size. Your standard explanation explains what you would expect, not what was reported by the OP. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten
    Oct 19, 2023 at 0:48

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