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23 Extremely Freaky Chemical & Physical Reaction GIFs


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1. Mercury thiocyanate decomposition

How it works: Burning mercury thiocyanate causes it to decompose into three other chemicals. The three other chemicals decompose again into another three chemicals, causing this terrifying creature thing to unfurl from all the expansion.

2. A match lighting

How it works: A matchhead contains red phosphorus, sulfur and potassium chlorate The heat generated from the phosphorus breaks down the potassium chlorate, and in the process, it releases oxygen. The oxygen combines with the sulfur, producing a short-lasting flame we use to light a candle or a cigarette.

3. Fire + hydrogen

How it works: Hydrogen gas is lighter than air and can be ignited with a flame or spark, resulting in a vivid explosion. This is why we've largely switched from hydrogen-powered blimps to helium ones.


6. Snake venom + blood

How it works: A single drop of viper venom dripped onto a petri dish of blood makes it clot into a thick chunk of solid matter. This is essentially what happens inside your body if you're bitten by a poisonous snake, which is terrifying.


10. Burning magnesium + water

How it works: Magnesium metals are not affected by water at room temperature; it reacts with water vapor to make magnesium hydroxide and hydrogen gas. Magnesium fires cannot be extinguished by water and must be covered in sand to be put out.

11. Acetone + styrofoam

How it works: Styrofoam is made up of polystyrene foam which, when dissolved in acetone, releases the air in the foam, making it to look like you're dissolving this massive quantity of material into a small volume of liquid.


16. Sodium polyacrylate + water

How it works: Sodium polyacrylate, the same material found in a baby diaper, acts like a sponge and absorbs moisture. When mixed with water, the compound turns into a solid gel. Once the sodium polyacrylate forms a gel, the water is no longer liquid and can’t pour out.


17. A drop of soap added to milk containing food coloring

How it works: Milk is mostly water but it also contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, and tiny droplets of fat suspended in solution. Dish soap weakens the chemical bonds that hold the proteins and fats in solution. The fat molecules freak out as the soap molecules race around to join up with the fat molecules until the solution is evenly mixed.


22. "Elephant's toothpaste"

How it works: Yeast and warm water are poured into a container of dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and food coloring. Yeast acts as a catalyst to remove oxygen from hydrogen peroxide very quickly, creating lots and lots of bubbles. The result is exothermic, creating foam AND heat.

23. Rubidium + water

How it works: Rubidium metal reacts very rapidly with water to form rubidium hydroxide (RbOH) and hydrogen gas (H2). The reaction is so fast that if the reaction is carried out in a glass vessel, the glass container may well shatter.