Unsinkable Fun: Exploring Why Bowling Balls Float in Water

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The Mysterious Floating Bowling Ball

It is a popular misconception that bowling balls are designed to float on water. In reality, the material from which bowling balls are made—urethane or plastic—is actually denser than water and will sink unless filled with air. So why do we see images of people using bowling balls in swimming pools and hot tubs? The answer lies in the science behind buoyancy.

Understanding Buoyancy

Buoyancy is an upward force exerted by a fluid (such as water) on an object when submerged. The strength of this force depends upon several factors such as the density of the fluid, how deep it is submerged, and its size and shape. A large enough object can be made to float if there is less dense material inside of it such as air or foam that counteracts its weight when placed into a liquid medium like a pool or lake. This explains why you often see people using specially-designed inflatable beach bowls instead of traditional hard-shell ones – they’re much easier to float!

Making Your Own Floating Bowling Ball

With just basic craft supplies, anyone can make their own floating bowling ball at home. All you need are some balloons, lightweight Styrofoam beads (or foam peanuts), duct tape, scissors, and glue. Begin by inflating the balloons to the desired size, and then cut them open along their length to obtain two halves, each filled with air. Next, fill each balloon half with Styrofoam beads until they’re both full but not overly bulky. This will provide just enough buoyancy for your homemade floating bowling ball. Finally, glue or tape together all four sides so that none of the materials spill out, and seal up any openings left over from the construction process. Once complete, simply place it into any body of liquid for instant fun!


Though many assume that all bowling balls must sink due to their heavy nature, buoyancy makes it possible for them to actually float when loaded with lighter materials like air or foam inside them! With just a few simple steps anyone can create their own personalized version perfect for making waves at summertime pool parties or even relaxing afternoons spent lounging around lakeside beaches – either way one thing’s certain: no matter what type you choose everyone loves playing around with these magical little things called ‘floating bowling balls’.