This Fireball Shooting Cannon Is Insanely Badass


Oh, Backyard Scientist, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. The popular YouTube channel just teamed up with GoPro to create an advanced model of the classic air vortex gun that blasts an invisible ring of propane into the air that transforms into a massive fireball when it hits an open flame.

How does it work? Well, the principle behind the vortex gun is simple. They use a short, broad barrel with a diaphragm at one end, held in by elastic straps. To shoot it, you pull it back and release. The spring in the elastic forces a large amount of air out of the open end. In 1965, the Wham-O corporation released a commercial version called the Air Blaster.

The bigger the barrel, the more powerful the blast, so this backyard model (which uses a sawed-off garbage can) releases quite a boom. And when you fill it up with propane, it’s not air that comes ringing out the front. Because the vortex is so strong, the propane holds together for some time, and becomes a mighty fireball.