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Red Hot Nickel Ball takes on crayons with a surprise ending

first_imgThe Red Hot Nickel Ball (RHNB) has come to claim another victim, and this time it’s that childhood favorite, the crayon. Well, a whole bunch of crayons, actually. The RHNB operator has tethered a mess of crayons together with a rubber band. Can you guess what will happen? You’re probably only half right.At first, the RHNB does it’s thing by turning the crayons into puddles. It melts the wax in a few seconds, with an appropriate amount of flame. At the bottom of the crayon container is a bit of water to catch the burning wax — this becomes important later on.After the RHNB melts down to the rubber band, the operator picks it up and melts a bit more wax. You know, just for fun. He finds that the RHNB is now coated in boiling wax, which is quite flammable. He drops the nickel ball into a bucket of water to extinguish it. The boiling wax in the original bowl is also on fire. So, dump it in water? Not the best idea.The fireball that results from pouring the boiling wax into water is pretty dangerous, especially when you’re hovering over it with a camera. The practice of wax burning is actually a common method of entertainment during festivals in Hong Kong. The danger that goes along with it has caused authorities to prohibit it in many areas.What causes it, though? When boiling wax is added to water, it vaporizes water. The expanding cloud of water vapor launches wax upward as tiny droplets, thus increasing its surface area dramatically. This exposes more flammable boiling wax to oxygen, resulting in a big flare up. It’s essentially the same mechanism that makes grease fires increase in size when water is poured on them. If you ever feel the need to copy the RHNB’s exploits, be careful with this one in particular.last_img read more