What happens when you pour water on an oil fire in slow motion

Really bad things happen. Though everyone should know this, here’s a lovely slow motion video reminder on what happens when you pour water onto an oil fire in an attempt to put it out: the fire gets even crazier because the water vaporizes into steam which expands causing it to spit out the oil which makes the flames even bigger.

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So don’t do this.

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DISCUSSION

The focus of this article is more psa, and less fun. Any mechanism to cheaply create huge fireballs is a potential source of fun!

Too much water, oil probably wasn’t hot enough and the pan was too shallow. You should be able to reach at least 3 meters flame height with that volume of oil.

Now when using a higher oil container, a bigger fire and a closed can of beer (they sink and explode at the bottom for more oil transport) it is not unheard of to create fire columns reaching 20 meters in the air.