Explosive pumpkin carving in science class

This science teacher illustrated gas-expansion for his students by trapping a flammable gas inside a pumpkin whose Jack O'Lantern face had been cut and not removed, then waited for the pressure to build up until the face exploded out of the pumpkin.

Exploding Pumpkin- Halloween Science Chemistry Demos! (via Neatorama)


  1. And tomorrow on BB, science teacher gets fired for igniting flammable gas inside pumpkin during experiment.

    Still a pretty kick ass demonstration.

    1. Flour is better for a campfire.. easier to convince mom you won’t do anything unsafe with it, and still makes a surprisingly large fireball.

  2. As the proud owner of a potato gun, it looks like he has a ignition sparker shoved in the back of the pumpkin to light the gas building up inside, rather than just allowing the gas build-up to complete the carving. I hadn’t thought to use chemistry to fire my potato gun; usually I just use brake cleaner.

  3. My high school chemistry teacher used to blast holes in the ceiling tiles with a rubber stopper atop a large plastic bottle.  Whenever he was about to light the gas, he had the same demented grin as this guy.

  4. I love this kind of stuff, though I can’t believe in our age of helicopter parents and overprotected kiddies that a school would allow this kind of demonstration any more. If I were one of the students, I would have run straight home and tried to recreate that explosion.

  5. I doubt these kids left with an appreciation for the gas law so much as they left with an idea for how to blow up pumpkins around their neighborhood.

    This is like porn for civil suit lawyers.

  6. Awesome.  My favorite classroom science trick was filling up a sink with hydrogen filled dishwashing soap bubbles and dropping a match into the foam.

    1.  Like, exploding pumpkins dangerous, or boy scout building attempting to build a nuclear reactor in his back yard dangerous? (actually happened)

  7. Here is the educators paradox.

    We want kids to think science is cool.
    Science is inherently dangerous.
    Danger is cool.

    Problem solved!

    Then we want to make sure no one gets hurt, and it all gets ruined.
    Even the most interesting topics, made safe, become the most boring.

    (let’s make T-shirts)

    1.   Like, exploding pumpkins dangerous, or boy scout building attempting to build a nuclear reactor in his back yard dangerous? (actually happened)
      Though I suspect even the later would make science cool, before it got all hot and glowy

  8. Am I the only one who has wondered:  can you do this with flatulence??  (Not that I would do it of course, but I would enjoy watching (from a safe distance)!)

  9. Last of the Halloweenie posts, yay!

    All my favorite radio stations got cheesy last week, all they played was stuff like “Frankenstein” by New York Dolls, “The Ghost In You” by Psychedelic Furs, “Werewolves Of London” and yes, even “Thriller”, on commercial-free public radio!

    But now, here comes the saturation-bombing campaign of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti festivities, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Invictus#Sol_Invictus_and_Christianity
    Because there’s a time of year when I absolutely feel like I MUST listen to “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer”, over and over again.

Comments are closed.