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Sodium Flushed Down a Toilet Makes for One Explosive Bowl Blast

Note: DON’T try this experiment at home. Our toilets put up with a lot, they deserve better than to be blown apart. 

Everybody’s probably familiar with the colloquial phrase “praying to the porcelain gods.” Well, at least anybody who’s ever sipped too much whiskey from a stormtrooper head. But if the porcelain deities are unkind, and they can be so unkind, there is one way to retaliate: with sodium metal, water, and—hopefully for your sake—some goggles and a pair of earplugs.

YouTubers and scientists Grant Thompson (a.k.a. “The King of Random”) and CodyDon (from Cody’sLab) put on a few demonstrations of what happens when sodium metal is combined with water in the clip above, and the resulting fireworks display (hopefully) puts to shame any toilet-related explosion you’ve ever seen before.

For those who don’t recall high school chemistry, sodium metal combined with water results in an exothermic reaction (a release of energy) because sodium metal atoms have a single electron in their outermost energy levels. Sodium metal atoms desperately want to rid themselves of that single electron, to become stable, and when they come into contact with good ol’ H2O, they can finally do that. But when the sodium metal gives away electrons to H2O, energy is released. And because highly flammable hydrogen gas is also released when sodium metal comes into contact with water, the release of heat energy lights that on fire. Bingo bango, your toilet is porcelain confetti.

sodium-toilet-blow-up-gif-11212016

If this particular exploding toilet looks familiar, that’s because Cody flushed a significant amount of mercury through it back in October (when it was not attached to any drainage system). Who could’ve guessed that that was going to be its last big flush?

What do you think about this sodium metal and water experiment? Do you want to see even bigger bathroom-related explosions or do you think that toilet deserves a 21-flush salute? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Images: Grant Thompson/YouTube


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