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10 mind-blowing Red Hot Nickel Ball Videos

Nickel is a chemical element — atomic number 28 — that is thought to be one of the main constituents of the Earth’s core. It has a melting point of 2651° F.  This corrosion-resistant metal is also the star of one of the coolest YouTube video series we’ve ever come across — Red Hot Nickel Ball from Carsandwater.


#1 RHNB in water

It’s pretty clear what’s happening here. The RHNB is doused in water, which can absorb a lot of heat energy. As the metal loses heat, it stops putting out light. You can actually watch as the outer layer of the RHNB cools, returning to its usual lustrous silvery color.

#2 RHNB on ice

Water did a pretty good job of cooling off the RHNB, so how about ice? The RHNB instantly melts into the surface and tunnels downward. The amber glow slowly dissipates as the ice leaches the heat from the nickel. The reaction isn’t as violent as with water because the ice absorbs a lot more heat than liquid water before it becomes steam.

#3 RHNB in honey

Like all sugar compounds, honey will caramelize and eventually burn when it’s heated. The RHNB is quite a bit hotter than what’s required to caramelize honey, so it almost instantly starts to boil. Because honey is so viscous, it bottles up the vapor until the pressure builds and it is released in a burst. The release is so violent that the container jumps and bits of hot honey are flung into the air. Our intrepid RNHB operator has to back away.

RHNB on ballistic gel

Ballistic gel is a scientific testing medium created to mimic the density of pig muscle tissue. Why pigs? Well, pig muscle tissue has very similar properties to human tissue. So perhaps this is a little preview of what would happen if the RHNB ever came after you.

RHNB in peanut butter

Peanut butter is not just tasty, but also does some odd stuff when it encounters the RHNB. You might expect it to catch fire instantly like many food products, but peanut butter has a high water content. So as it heats up, the water evaporates in the area immediately around the ball and the remaining oils burn. This is also the cause of the strange expansion you see.

RHNB Ribeye Steak

RHNB on a gummy bear

Have you ever stopped to think about what a gummy bear is made of? It’s a weird texture, right? Gummy bears are basically just sugar, starch, and gelatin (a collection of long protein fibers made from collagen). The RHNB has no trouble overwhelming the tiny candies with heat, but the gelatin actually does absorb a lot of heat.  The RHNB was bested in a previous video by a giant gummy bear.

RHNB on Watermelon

For all those who wanted to see a red hot nickel ball on a watermelon. Watermelon wins.

RHNB in sugar

Sugar will caramelize when heated, but it can also burn — and boil apparently. That’s what happens when the RHNB is dropped into a bowl of granulated sugar. It liquefies and starts throwing off burning globules of molten sugar. Some of the boiling liquid might have been edible caramel for a second or two, but it quickly becomes a mass of scorched carbon.

RHNB on Dry Ice

Besides sounding like a plane going down in a rainstorm, scorching hot nickel on much below freezing dry ice did not create a spectacle but did only what it had to. I also crushed some dry ice into powder form and put the ball in that. It hissed and made its way through the CO2 creating a snow globe effect