If you’ve ever carved a pumpkin for Halloween before, you know it can be a messy endeavor. Chemistry teacher Mr. Bergmann has a more impressive way to do this, although it’s probably just as messy. We’ve all heard stories about chemistry teachers “back in the day” who would do crazy things like let their students play with mercury or blow up a classroom or two in a fiery explosion. Mr. Bergmann isn’t a mad scientist like that, but he certainly knows how to put on a show involving (controlled!) explosions.
Without appropriate context, it’s difficult to tell what exactly the experiment entails. It would appear that the pumpkin is already hollowed out of its “pumpkin guts” and that the Jack O’Lantern face has been carved out, but the pieces not yet removed. The enclosed cavity of the pumpkin is filled with some sort of flammable gas, unable to escape with the face sealed and the “lid” held down firmly. There also appears to be a smaller hole in back, inside which Mr. Bergmann pushes a long lighter.
When the gas is ignited, it expands in a small explosion, which is still forceful enough to send the carved pieces flying out of the pumpkin. Even more impressive, as the gas continues to burn, the inside of the pumpkin is illuminated like a Jack O’ Lantern, making the face even more clear! The downside is that this method seems to involve just as much work as carving a Halloween pumpkin traditionally, but the upside is, well, I thought I already made that clear. Check out the video below to see for yourself, or check out some other scientific fun in our articles on Exploding Ice Cream Advertisements and a Steel-Penetrating Rail Gun.