Steve Spangler initiated the Internet phenomenon when he appeared on 9News in 2002 and 2005, both times showcasing the experiment. The experiment's result was then further popularized by the website Eepybird.com, which promoted a video in which two men re-created the fountain display seen in front of the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas using a timed series of eruptions. Later Eepybird videos featured "self-activating" soda jets linked together to form a Domino Rally-style effect. In September 2007, the videos, including the "Extreme Diet Coke and Mentos Experiments" video that was viewed more than 10 million times, earned the pair the highest yearly payout of US$50,000 from the video hosting service Revver.
The eruption has been reproduced many times by popular sources, including the television shows Numb3rs and MythBusters and an appearance by cast member Kari Byron in FHM magazine, an experiment conducted by Bart Simpson on The Simpsons episode, "The Debarted", an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman by physics teacher Lee Marek, and others. The MythBusters later set the record highest soda jet recorded, at over 29 feet (9 meters), using a nozzle.
Setting world records for the most simultaneous Mentos-and-Diet-Coke Eruptions has become a new challenge for groups of people. The original world record - 504 simultaneous eruptions - was set on May 24, 2007, and was broken on July 10, 2007, by Circle R Ranch and Books Are Fun during a special event in Flower Mound, Texas. Guinness World Records certified the record-setting effort when independent sales representatives from Books Are Fun, a Reader's Digest Company, simultaneously dropped Mentos into individual two-liter bottles of Diet Pepsi, creating 791 geysers reaching over 29 feet with the use of a nozzle.
The next record was set on April 23, 2008, by students in the Belgian city of Leuven; they simultaneously launched 1,360 Mentos geysers. Then, on May 14, 2008, students at Louisville Male High School in Louisville, Kentucky, broke that record by setting off 1,800 simultaneous geysers..
The current Guinness World Record - 1,911 simultaneous geysers - was set on June 19, 2008, by students of The School of Business Administration Turiba in Latvia. This record was registered by the official representative of the Guinness World Record book.
A paper by Tonya Coffey, a physicist at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina goes into detail on the reasons and physics behind the reaction.
Steve Spangler, who first put the Mentos Geyser in the public eye, has several videos and detailed experiments about it on his website. The Geyser Tube is a device invented for use in creating the reaction.
One reason for the popularity of this demonstration is its comparative safety. Because the interaction releases only the carbon dioxide already present in the liquid, the cola bottle should not usually rupture if capped, although it is possible to break the bottle with physical force. This differs from similar demonstrations with dry ice which have the potential to generate much larger pressures depending on the amount used.