Why A Grape Turns Into A Fireball In A Microwave

Why A Grape Turns Into A Fireball In A Microwave

by Sophia Chen, WIRED

THE INTERNET IS full of videos of thoughtful people setting things on fire. Here’s a perennial favorite: Cleave a grape in half, leaving a little skin connecting the two hemispheres. Blitz it in the microwave for five seconds. For one glorious moment, the grape halves will produce a fireball unfit for domestic life.

Physicist Stephen Bosi tried the experiment back in 2011 for the YouTube channel Veritasium, in the physics department’s break room at the University of Sydney. On camera, he and the show’s host whooped in the glow of the grape. “Who needs drugs?” Bosi yells in the video, as a particularly psychedelic plume erupts. Off-camera, they discovered they had burned the interior of the physics department microwave.

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