Your favourite pyromaniac might have to surrender his giant Hallmark snowman snow globe: The US Consumer Product Safety Commission just discovered that a bit of sunlight passes through them and it's "Goodbye drapes, hello firestorm!"
The physical principle of magnifying sunlight is ancient, but apparently the materials here, combined with the size, make the 17"-tall snowman-shaped 2008 Jumbo Snow Globe one of the deadliest ever. The allegation leading to the recall was definitely by the book:
When exposed to sunlight, the snow globes can act as a magnifying glass and ignite nearby combustible materials, posing a fire hazard.
Hallmark, which is offering refunds on the $US100 decoration at its Gold Crown stores, says it's heard at least two reports of snow-globe related fires, though fortunately no one was injured. Our advice: If you or anyone you love is admiring an impressive snow globe collection when someone says "Do you smell something burning?" be sure to evacuate the home in an orderly manner. Taking the giant snowman snow globe with you of course—that thing's gonna be valuable on eBay pretty soon. [US CPSC via Reuters]