This Homemade Cannon Spits Hot Fire

Well, launches hot metal, but that's roughly the same.

Thermite burns hot. Very, very hot. This makes it equally useful for welding together train tracks and also for welding shut artillery pieces, and it’s used in some grenades. Because thermite burns at such high temperatures, it’s best to be far, far away from it while it burns. Colin Furze, who regularly makes outlandish contraptions for his YouTube channel, clearly intends his thermite launcher as a functional instrument of peace:

Which is why he fires it at targets inside what looks like a junkyard warehouse, and at cans of gasoline. The cannon (launcher, really) ignites the thermite, and then chucks it far away, burning all the while. Here’s what it does to a box of fireworks:

The explosion comes from the fireworks themselves, the thermite is just the simple, superheated spark at the center of it. The one burning at over 4,000 degrees fahrenheit. That modest, little spark.

When not creating new and terrifying ways to set things on fire, Furze takes on more modest tasks, like making motorized baby strollers that can pass cars on residential streets.

Watch him demonstrate his thermite cannon below:

Kelsey D. Atherton

Kelsey D. Athertonis a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work on drones, lethal AI, and nuclear weapons has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.