Can You Build A Sensory Deprivation Tank? The 'Stranger Things' Science Was Not Far Off
In 1983, you had to go to the library, or call your science teacher in the middle of the night and interrupt his awkward date if you needed a question answered ASAP. Luckily, in 2016, we have the internet — and the internet will always take your call. So, if you wanted to build a sensory deprivation tank like Eleven's on Stranger Things, you're in luck. The internet will provide your answers.
Why would you want to do this? The Upside Down is not real, I hope, so there's no use trying to contact it. However, cutting yourself off from light, sound, touch, and even gravity can be an incredibly relaxing an therapeutic experience. Sensory Deprivation tanks, also known as isolation or float tanks, are a real thing used by many people. In Brooklyn, you could pay hundreds of dollars to experience high quality recreational sensory deprivation at a place called Lift. There are other spas and health centers that use these types of pods. Athletes use them. It's a way to check out and be alone with your thoughts in a genuine way.
You could purchase a float tent and epsom salt to fill it for about $2,000, if you're really committed. But what about going truly DIY like on Stranger Things ? No matter what, making one at home is not going to be perfect and you can probably only float once — you'd have to at least replace the salt between uses, because gross. Building a tank with its own filtration system is going to be right up there, expense-wise, with buying a tank or a subscription to a float spa. However, you can mimic the effects and definitely take a break from our over-stimulating world for a bit if you assemble the same tools that the characters on Stranger Things did. Be careful, some people do have negative experiences — and make sure you aren't home alone when you try. Even though the salt should keep you floating (be sure to stay face up and don't get it in your eyes), we all make mistakes and that amount of water can be dangerous.
Your tank needs to hold you, and at least 10 inches or 150 gallons of water. It should probably also be big enough to float in without hitting the sides and ruining the effect. Any larger inflatable pool should do the trick. If you have a bathtub at home, it might be nice for a soak, but you might not be able to stretch out while floating properly. Your water should be heated, but be careful not to melt the pool!
Preferably Epsom Salts, 800 pounds for that amount of water, and not stolen from your school's cafeteria. I would be careful buying large quantities, due to bath salts abuse, but epsom salts and ice melt comes in pretty big bags.
You can take away more senses if you like using earplugs, a blindfold, black out glasses, and black out curtains/blinds (which I generally recommend, especially if your home doesn't have central air conditioning) will help you shape your sensory deprivation experience. The point is to relax, so do whatever makes you the most comfortable! Even if you don't have any other-worldly breakthroughs, sensory deprivation can be fun!
Images: Netflix; Giphy (3)