This is what it looks like when you light 6,000 match heads on fire — minus the part where your house accidentally catches on fire. Video screenshot by Danny Gallagher/CNET
Let’s face it, slow motion makes everything cooler. It could probably turn a dull college economics lecture into something that looks like it’s been filmed for a Michael Bay movie.
That’s why the Slo Mo Guys, a duo with a high-speed Phantom Flex slow-motion camera and their own YouTube channel with 5.9 million subscribers, love turning scenes of creative chaos into slow-motion art. This time, they’ve turned their lenses toward something a bit more dangerous that looks quite beautiful when it’s slowed down to 2,500 frames per second: a match-head bomb.
Match-head bombs are made when a large number of the business end of a match get set on fire, creating a massive column of flame.
The heads of most safety matches contain an extremely flammable substance called potassium chlorate. Strike the match head on the rough side of a package that contains red phosphorus and some kind of abrasive substance such as powdered glass, according to chemistry website Compound Interest, and the friction leads to a flame. So imagine 6,000 of these tiny flames burning together all at once.
It goes without saying that you really shouldn’t try this at home, even if you’ve got one of those awesome, Cadillac-grade home insurance plans.
Seriously, some of you are probably still thinking about doing this. Take my advice and just stop right now. You could start an even bigger fire or hurt yourself. Even the guys in this video, posted Friday, venture into risky territory.
Sure, the slow-motion footage looks incredible, but when Slo Mo Guy Daniel Gruchy sticks his head over the container holding the match heads to see if they’re burning, he narrowly avoids getting a face full of flames. If his co-host Gavin Free hadn’t told him to move out of the way at just the right second, you’d be watching a slow-motion video of a Slo Mo guy suffering third-degree burns instead. Not something any us would want to see.