Fire Water Balloon – Cool Science Experiment

Common sense tells you that it’s impossible to boil water in a paper bag, but this classic parlor trick was a favorite of the Victorian magician. The real difficulty in performing this effect is making it look harder than it is! As you might imagine, the secret lies in yet another amazing property of water – it’s ability to conduct heat. Instead of using a paper bag, this modern day version of the demonstration uses an ordinary balloon, some water and a candle. It’s a combination that’s guaranteed to make people stand back.

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About Steve Spangler Science…

Steve Spangler is a celebrity teacher, science toy designer, speaker, author and an Emmy award-winning television personality. Spangler is probably best known for his Mentos and Diet Coke geyser experiment that went viral in. Spangler is the founder of, a Denver-based company specializing in the creation of science toys, classroom science demonstrations, teacher resources and home for Spangler’s popular science experiment archive and video collection. Spangler is a frequent guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Denver 9 News where he takes classroom science experiments to the extreme. For teachers, parents or DIY Science ideas – check out other sources of learning:

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  1. without the water, the balloon gets the heat and it melts and blow up, but with the water, the heat passes the balloon and in to the water, therefor, it will not blow up unless the water is extremely hot.

  2. Is this a trick, an optical illusion of some sort? My son and I tried it three times and the balloons burst straightaway. Of course, set a flame to a balloon and it'll melt the plastic of the balloon, whatever's inside the balloon. Perhaps you're using a special type of balloon?

  3. This is exactly what happens to the suns heat that is trapped in the oceans, as 90% of the energy goes into it. A marine biologist would say that the clear proof of global warming is that they can clearly measure increased heat content in the oceans. This is a cool trick showing exactly how much better water holds heat compared to the atmosphere. So to increase air temperatures you need more moisture in the air as well. For earth PDO cycles often regulate this causing warmer air temps too.

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