clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Watch pumpkins breathe fire, barf molten iron, and levitate thanks to science

For my 10th grade physics class, my teacher constructed a catapult that he synchronized with a magnet holding a soda can to the ceiling of the classroom, so that with the flick of a switch the can would drop, the catapult would fire, and the projectile and soda would meet in a fizzy mid-air collision. It was spectacular, and I remember absolutely none of that physics lesson.

This video of an exploding pumpkin reminds me of those unforgettable — minus the educational lesson — moments of high school science. Posted by The Royal Institution, the exploding pumpkins are the result of a reaction between iron oxide and aluminum powder sparked by a strip of magnesium, and I’m sorry, does this bore you? I swear, this is the last time you sleep in my class, or else it's detention ever weekend 'til prom, buster!


Now, are you awake? Because I was getting to the good part: gun cotton has been stuffed in the lower pumpkin’s mouth, and it produces a FIREBALL! Yeah, that’s right. Science! Explosions aren’t enough, you say? The Royal Institution made pumpkins levitate, too, and you don’t even have to complete your homework to enjoy it.