Let’s Drop A Red Hot Metal Ball Into Some Orbeez

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We’ve talked about Orbeez here once or twice before – they’re the commercial version of the polymer balls that expand to larger sizes when immersed in water. They’re chemically pretty cool, and of course when something’s chemically pretty cool people want to destroy it.

In this clip from YouTube channel NewKew, they take a metal ball, superheat it to 700 degrees and then submerge it into a bowl full of Orbeez to see what happens. You’ll want to turn your volume up for this one, because the fireworks are auditory, not visual.

When the balls are exposed to intense heat, their molecular structure starts to contract rapidly. That creates the ridiculous high-pitched squeaking sound you hear as the water trapped inside the crystalline polymer rapidly evaporates. Because the Orbeez are mostly composed of liquid, they don’t melt or catch fire unless they’re held against the ball for a significant amount of time. Indeed, the vast majority of the balls in the bowl come out of the experiment relatively unscathed.

Obviously we have to warn you not to try this experiment at home, especially around dogs or other creatures with sensitive ears.