Viral Video Shows Man Putting His Hand Through Molten Metal. So What’s Really Going On?

Most of us know by now that extreme heat generally isn’t a good time.

Before we had the ability to master the control of our bowels, we knew that coming into contact with a hotplate or a boiled kettle equaled pain.

So when you watch a video like this, you instinctively wince.

The video has gone viral in recent days after a version of it was re-posted to Gfycat, clocking up more than 4.4 million views.

It was posted to the WTF sub-Reddit page last week, attracting upwards of 55,000 upvotes.

And with a caption that reads Guy puts his hand in molten metal, you expect to see something horrendous.

This bloke is sticking his hand in some molten something and holy cheese that sounds painful.

Molten metal is bloody hot and we reckon it wouldn’t tickle if it came into contact with someone’s skin.

We know this, we’ve seen that Game of Thrones scene.

[Via HBO]

But somehow, old mate in the video is just peachy.

He’s splashing around in that stream of liquid heat like it’s a backyard water feature.

So just how did this fella manage to avoid getting an iron claw?

His still-functioning hand was mostly likely saved thanks to something called the Leidenfrost Effect.


As the folk from Engineers Edge explain, this occurs when a liquid comes into contact with something much hotter than its boiling point.

When this happens, the bottom of the water droplet evaporates immediately after touching the hot surface, which creates a pocket of steam between the hotplate and the drop.

This gas, which is trapped under the water, slows down the transfer of heat, meaning the rest of the drop takes much longer to evaporate and is suspended above the surface.

You can see videos of people demonstrating other please-for-the-love-of-carbs-do-not-try-this-at-home applications of this effect all over the internet.

One guy from NurdRage poured liquid nitrogen on his hand and the lads from MythBusters stuck their whole hands in molten lead and everyone was perfectly fine.

But, as with Pinterest craft hacks, just because you’ve seen someone do it on the internet, doesn’t mean you should give it a crack yourself.

The consequences of mucking that one up are almost too gruesome to describe, so we’ll leave you with this burning GIF to give you an idea of what to expect: