Imagine I have filled my backyard swimming pool (8 feet deep) with a solid block of Jell-O. What would happen if I tried to swim in it? My understanding is that the viscosity of the "water" doesn't really have an effect on one's ability to swim, because as the medium becomes thicker and more difficult to move through, you also have more to push off of with each stroke. Would the gelatinous nature of this particular medium be any different?

Would there be buoyant forces in the Jell-O? If I was careful, could I lay on TOP of my Jell-O filled pool, so long I didn't rupture the surface? Would the elastic give be similar to laying on a trampoline, or would I wind up under the surface no matter what? Is the Jell-O compressible, increasing in density toward the bottom of the pool? Would I be any more likely to drown in this gelatinous extravagance than in a normal swimming pool?

Would the answers to these questions be any different if the pool was filled with a million tiny Jello-O cubes, instead of a single pool-sized mold?

  • $\begingroup$ Correct me if I'm wrong, but jell-o is more of a solid (a colloid actually). So, unless it's warm enough to dissolve the jell-o proteins, I don't think swimming through it would be comparable to swimming through a liquid $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    May 25, 2015 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ Jell-O is more of a solid than a liquid, but I don't think it would change the general practice of swimming all that much since you can still move though it with relative ease. Much more so in the case of many small Jell-O cubes instead of a single solid block. $\endgroup$ May 25, 2015 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ Looks like a question for xkcd what if $\endgroup$
    – zzz
    May 25, 2015 at 23:11


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