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Zapping Micron Steel Wool in a Microwave Looks Gorgeous

Zapping Micron Steel Wool in a Microwave Looks Gorgeous

Growing up we all had the same warning repeated to us again and again: never put metal in the microwave. It’s one of those things we all know should never be done—and it’s also one of those things we’re all totally wrong about. Because you can put metal in a microwave without risking burning down your house, so long as it’s the right shape. That’s why not only can steel wool can be zapped without your kitchen catching fire, it will look absolutely gorgeous.

YouTuber Steven Mould‘s latest video shows what happens when micron thick steel wool, which is so fine the individual strands are much thinner than the actual fur it resembles, is placed in the microwave. It sets off a chain reaction where a bunch of small pearls of light spread across the metal tuft, causing it to cave in on itself in a scene that looks like it came straight out of a sci-fi movie.

As Mould explains, the potential problem of putting metal in a microwave—which is itself made of metal (why…why have we never considered this?)—has to do with the shape, specifically metal that has sharp edges. That’s why putting a spoon, which the electromagnetic waves will bounce off of, in there isn’t a big deal, but a CD is.

Also, who knew putting metal in a microwave was a great way to explain how mirrors work? We’ve spent all our lives being afraid of something that wasn’t just wrong, it’s an incredibly cool way to understand some serious science.

What other childhood warning would you like to know the real science behind? Zap our comments section with your best idea.

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Featured Image: Steve Mould

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