Humankind would never have made it very far without learning to harness fire. It is both an enigma of nature and our greatest tool.
If you’ve ever stared into a fire and been captivated by the way it dances? How many colors can you make out? Its beauty, mystery, and potential danger has captivated the imaginations of poets, painters, and other artists.
Despite this, many people know surprisingly little about fire. Modern science has unlocked many of its secrets. Read ahead for 9 interesting facts about fire you should know.
1. What Is Fire?
For many of us, fire is a bright orange, dancing ball of hot flame with unusual characteristics. You can’t grab it but it can certainly burn you!
Before we dive into cool facts about fire, let’s talk about what it is.
It’s the result of the chemical process of combustion. The flames consisting of light and heat are the product of rapid oxidation of the material.
2. Fire Is Hot
Follow us for more science facts about fire. Jokes aside, do you know why fire is hot?
During a fire, molecular oxygen (O2) is converted into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water. During this reaction, energy in the form of heat is released.
That’s 418 kJ per 32g of O2.
3. The Discovery of Fire
We have all heard stories about the discovery of fire. We tend to imagine a caveman finding a branch that was on fire and bringing it back to show off to his fellow cavepeople.
However, despite what you may think, the great Homo sapiens were not the first to control fire.
Homo erectus, an extinct species of hominid, is believed to have used fire over one million years ago.
4. Not All Fires are Created Equal
How hot is fire? Well, it depends. Some fires are hotter than others.
Mostly, it depends on the amount and characteristics of the material being oxidized.
A Bunson burner produces a flame that approaches 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is much greater than a wax candle.
5. A Wax Candle Flame is Still Pretty Hot
A wax candle stays lit because the wax burns relatively very slowly. It’s not as hot as other flames but it’ll still do damage.
On average, a wax candle burns at about 1,800 degrees.
6. Red and Orange Flames are the Coldest
You can pretty accurately predict the temperature of a given flame from its color.
Blue flames, such as the ones given off by a bunsen burner, are the hottest. Then you have white flames. Finally, orange-yellow and red flames are the coldest.
A red fire can still reach 800 degrees so be careful.
7. Hottest Fire ever Produced
Anyone ask for their steak well done?
The hottest man-made fire ever created was just over 9,000 degrees. It was produced by igniting dicyanoacetylene and ozone.
8. Fire From Ice?
Ice and fire are basically opposites in every way. But did you know ice could help you make a fire?
Essentially, you use the ice like a magnifying glass to concentrate sunlight.
9. Sad Side of Fire Facts
We can talk all about fire without mentioning the serious side. It’s very dangerous.
In 2018, 3,655 Americans died in fires. As beautiful and cool as it is, it is nothing to play with.
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Cold Hard Facts About Fire
It’s better to know the facts about fire unless you want to get burned. Fire is beautiful, natural, and necessary.
However, it can also be destructive. The more you know about fire and fire safety, the better prepared you are in case of an emergency.
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