Video: If you’ve ever built your own potato gun, you probably don’t think twice about the explosions that launch the projectile — mostly because they’re hidden within it. But SmarterEveryDay’s Dustin built his potato cannon out of clear plastic so when filmed with a high-speed camera at 20,000 frames per second, the explosions are revealed. And they’re terrifying.
The next time you’re playing with a potato gun you might want to think twice about holding it with your bare hands. However, this experiment wasn’t only about sobering eye candy. Dustin discovered that where the fuel and oxygen mix inside the tube is ignited — either at one end or the middle — can greatly affect the power at which it launches a potato, and in turn, how much fun you can have with it.