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20,000-Volt Capacitor Annihilates a Watermelon

People on the internet love exploding watermelons. They love to explode them by launching them off of tall towers, explode them with vacuum cannons, and explode them with molten salt. TheBackyardScientist was responsible for that last one and now he is at it again. This time around he’s decided to use a 20,000-volt capacitor, which not only thoroughly rind-blasts these poor, pink seedy fruits (as well as some other fine picnic foods), but also liquifies their innards.

What did watermelons do to this man?

In his latest video, TheBackyardScientist, a.k.a. Kevin—we know that’s his name because his neighbors yell it out when they threaten to call the cops on him—shows off what capacitors can do. And if you’re unfamiliar with what capacitors are, that’s understandable: Like the Faceless Men of Bravos, they go unseen, are everywhere, and can be exceptionally powerful.

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Diagram showing the layout of a capacitor. Image: inductiveload / Wikimedia

As TheBackyardScientist points out, capacitors are essentially storage devices for electricity like batteries, only they utilize a build-up of electric charge that’s stored in an electric field rather than in chemicals, and they can be discharged “in a fraction of a second.” Capacitors use two conductive plates that are separated by an insulator (a dielectric). A voltage is applied to one of the conductive plates which causes a build-up of electric charge. And if something like say, a hot dog or steak or watermelon makes contact with both of the conductive plates, that electric charge zaps right through it and well, who’s ready for liquified dinner?

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What do you think about using high-voltage capacitors to turn good edible food into fireworks? Are you more hungry, or amazed at the wonder of electromagnetism after watching this video? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Images: TheBackyardScientist

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