Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz spent six months practicing for the wacky piece of performance art they dubbed “Experiment #137,” planning their choreography and testing various explosive combinations of Diet Coke and Mentos candy.

Inspired by the fountains at the Bellagio hotel, the science buffs hoped to create a geyser-filled spectacle and capture it on video. “We crossed our fingers, and we started,” they wrote on their company’s website of their firs attempt at filming their fizzy, hypnotic exploits.

1. In the HBO series Entourage, actor Vincent Chase (played by Adrian Grenier) got his big break in a Mentos goofy “Freshmaker” commercial, one of many pop culture namechecks for the brand. 2. and 3. Vintage print ads—one starring Albert Einstein—tout benefits of the mint beyond fresh breath. 4. EepyBird Studios co-founders Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz demonstrate the process of “nucleation” created when Mentos and Diet Coke mix. Translation for nongeeks: the carbon dioxide in the soda attaches to the candy, creating so much pressure that the concoction explodes. 5. In another EepyBird experiment, 108 two-liter bottles of Coke Zero and 648 Mentos powered a “rocket car.

The resulting three-minute video, shot in a single take, became a massive internet hit in the summer of 2006, making stars out of the EepyBird Studiosco-founders. They recreated their viral sensation on live TV, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and David Letterman, won Webby Awards, toured several continents and set Guinness World Records for ever-grander experiments. (There was a sequel, sponsored by Mentos and Coca-Cola, and later a soda-and-mint-fueled “rocket car” with a video shot in 3-D.)

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