World’s Strangest

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Carbide Shooting: A Dutch New Year’s Eve Tradition

(Video Link) In the Netherlands, New Year’s Eve means partying hard. And partying hard means carbidschieten–detonating calcium carbide in a milk churn: Basically, a small chunk of calcium carbide and a little bit of water is placed in a metal milk churn. The carbide decomposes into acetylene and a flame is held up to a small hole in [...]

Flammable Ice

(YouTube Link) High school science teacher “Mr. Kent” has a YouTube channel full of neat chemistry demonstration videos. In this one, he sets ice on fire. Here’s how: Ice is added to a dry Pyrex bowl. When the Ice melts the water reacts with the calcium carbide (place on the bottom) to produce acetylene gas and calcium [...]