Burning ants with a magnifying glass is a long-accepted childhood pastime and possible indicator of sociopathy. But when Kevin Moore and Grant Reynolds at the Science Channel got the idea to more effectively harness the sun’s destructive heat, they decided to go big…like 800 degrees Celsius.
The materials needed are incredibly simple. The main ingredient in their terrifying solar weapon was a fresnel lens, often used in old projection screen televisions. After that it was just building the frame — with a dash of clever positioning — to focus the sun’s rays down to a single point. This is the result.
We’ve seen equally awesome and destructive death ray hacks over the years — even giant architectural wonders have the potential to hand out some heat-related carnage — but this one is way easy to assemble and crazy powerful.
But please melt responsibly and while we’re at it, let’s leave the ants out of this. [Science Channel]