What should you do when boiled eggs float? Many people believe that floating eggs is the sign of the egg being rotten or bad. Is it true? What should you do when you notice that your boiled egg is floating? Read on to learn the straight facts about the eggs and what causes them to float.


What It Means when Boiled Eggs Float

With so many different misconceptions and myths concerning the eggs and the floating ones, it’s quite understandable when people believe that all floating eggs are always rotten or bad. The truth is: all eggs will float when they are older – whether they are cooked or raw.

You see, eggs have the so-called air pocket inside them. The scientific term is the air cell. Over time, eggs would lose moisture, causing the air cells to be bigger. When the air cells within the egg shell is quite big, it will cause the egg to float.

So, what does it mean? A floating egg (boiled or raw) is basically an indication that it is an older one, NOT a bad one. Just because the egg floats, it doesn’t mean that it’s bad or unsafe to consume. It doesn’t always mean that it has been fully cooked either.


The Reasons for (Boiled) Eggs to Float

Keep in mind that boiled eggs generally don’t float, but again, it doesn’t mean that the egg has turned bad either. Let’s not forget about the law of buoyancy and density. When an object is denser than the buoyant force (basically, the water), it will sink. On the contrary, when the object is lighter than the buoyant force, it will float.


Basically, there are three major logical reasons why boiled eggs float.

  • Old eggs. When the eggs get old, the shell would be thinner, causing the air to easily ‘enter’ it. Moreover, the inside moisture (within the egg) will evaporate. When the moisture is reducing and more air can get into the shell, it causes the egg to float. That’s why older eggs float than the fresh ones. Fresh eggs have less air and more moisture (they are basically heavy), causing them to sink.
  • Cracked shell. When the egg has cracked shell, some of the (egg) white will leak out. The egg would be lighter, causing it to float. If you have stored the egg for a while, it’s possible that air enters the interior, making it airier.
  • Salt water. If you boil the egg in salt water, the water would be denser. As a result, the water is denser than the egg, ‘lifting’ it up.


Is the Egg Safe to Consume?

What should you do with the floating egg? You can still eat it. But you need to check the egg before cramming it down your throat. First of all, check the smell and texture. It’s the easiest way. Bad egg will have this distinctive unpleasant smell. You can always tell that the egg has gone bad or not. Also check the texture. Old boiled egg still has this firm and solid texture; not runny, soggy, or somewhat mushy texture. Even if it doesn’t smell, but the texture is wet, soggy, or runny, you should toss it away.

Second, check the color. It may be milky white or somewhat cloudy, which means that it’s fresh and new. Older eggs would have clearer (egg) white. They are still safe to consume. However, if the white is somewhat greenish or pinkish, you shouldn’t eat it. That’s the right thing to do when boiled eggs float.



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