Previous: What Do Astronauts Do?
Next: Ramps: A Super, Simple Machine! - #sciencegoals



View count:148,951
Last sync:2024-06-15 08:45


Citation formatting is not guaranteed to be accurate.
MLA Full: "Make Your Own Mountains! - #sciencegoals." YouTube, uploaded by SciShow Kids, 11 August 2016,
MLA Inline: (SciShow Kids, 2016)
APA Full: SciShow Kids. (2016, August 11). Make Your Own Mountains! - #sciencegoals [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (SciShow Kids, 2016)
Chicago Full: SciShow Kids, "Make Your Own Mountains! - #sciencegoals.", August 11, 2016, YouTube, 03:32,
Mountains are some of the biggest things in the world, but today, we're going to teach you how to make some of your own, right on your kitchen table!

Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Check out our awesome products over at DFTBA Records:

Or help support us by becoming our patron on Patreon:
Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet?


It is time to make more science. Today, I would like to show you how to make little, tiny versions of some of the biggest things on Earth, mountains, and you can make them right on your kitchen table.

Mountains can be made in lots of different ways, but the most common kind of mountain is made when pieces of the Earth's surface push up against each other. This surface of our planet is called the crust, kind of like the crust of bread that goes around the outside of your sandwich, but Earth's crust is broken up in lots of pieces. Pieces called plates, and, even though it's hard to tell that it's happening, the plates of Earth's crust are always moving around very slowly. Sometimes two of these plates push into each other. When that happens, those giant pieces of rock can start to bend and fold into curvy shapes. and all that pushing makes part of the plates move up to make mountains. When mountains are made in this way, they are called fold mountains. So Rocky Mountains in North America, the Himalayas is Asia, and the Andes in South America are all examples of fold mountains.

Now that you know how plates of the Earth's crust come together to make fold mountains, let's make some mountains of our own. All you'll need are a few towels. We're going to use different colored towels so we can really see the mountains forming, and if you want some help, grab a friend, or a brother or sister, or a grownup to lend a hand. 

First, let's fold out towels in half. Make sure that they are stacked on top of each other so they make layers, just like there are layers inside the Earth's crust. Now, since we're pretending that the towels are the Earth's crust, let's pretend that there are two plates slowly running into each other. I'm going to use my two hands as plates, but if you need help, have a friend get on one side of your stack and you go on the other. Ready? Set. Push!

Look at that! Pushing the ends together made the towels fold into miniature mountains. Do you see how the different colored layers all bend and fold in the same places? There are real fold mountains kind of like this all over the world with the different layers of Earth's crust curving up and down together.

Now, what do you think would happen if we did this again? Well, let's find out. We'll smooth out our towels, and give it another push. Oh, nice! Do your mountains look different from the first time? Just like with real fold mountains, your towel mountains might look different depending on how the layers that make them are pushed together. What do you think would happen if you pushed the ends of towels even closer together? What if you barely pushed them at all? Does it make a difference whether you push fast or slow? Try it a bunch of different ways. Make a plan, try and guess what will happen, and then do it! And don't forget to have fun.

I'd like to give a big thank you to Google Making Science for helping us make this episode, and thank you all for watching. Do you have a question about mountains, fossils, or other things that you can find in and on the Earth? Let us know! We love to hear from you. Grab a grownup and leave a comment down below, or send us an email to and we'll see you next time here at the fort.