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Science & Technology

Why do grapes explode in the microwave ?

February 20, 2019 | Comment icon 6 comments

Don't try microwaving grapes at home... Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Doriaviadicmeih
Scientists have been investigating a viral video that shows a halved grape erupting in to flames when microwaved.
It may not seem like the most volatile object in the world, yet the humble grape is capable of producing quite the light show if it is cut in to two halves connected by a sliver of skin and then microwaved.

The phenomenon first gained prominence eight years ago, however it is only now that someone has actually gone to the trouble of finding a definitive scientific explanation.

To find the solution, the researchers had to modify (and subsequently ruin) several microwaves.
"Many microwaves were in fact harmed during the experiments," said study co-author Hamza Khattak of Trent University. "At one point, we had a microwave graveyard in the lab before disposing of the many early iterations in electronic waste."

The answer, it turns out, is that the microwave causes hot spots to form where the grape halves are closest to one another. After a while these hot spot become supercharged and produce plasma.

The two halves don't necessarily need to be touching for it to work - just very close together.

Suffice to say however - we don't recommend you try this at home.

Source: Sky News | Comments (6)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years ago
Look like fun ! Don't know how many MW will suffer tonight...
Comment icon #2 Posted by Coil 4 years ago
The stupidest thing a man can think of is to heat or cook food with radio emission. Everyone knows how harmful radiation is when the door is open but they think that it doesn’t harm food and it’s also alive.  
Comment icon #3 Posted by MainerMikeBrown 4 years ago
I've also noticed that grape soda often explodes when you twist the cap off the bottle.
Comment icon #4 Posted by moonman 4 years ago
Complete nonsense. When the microwave is off, there is no "radiation" in the food.
Comment icon #5 Posted by EnderOTD 4 years ago
There’s never been a single documented case of a hot pocket developing cancer from radiation after being cooked in a microwave.  
Comment icon #6 Posted by Coil 4 years ago
So it has already been harmed by the waves. If the body is irradiated with radiation, then it will contain it, and since the food is absorbed immediately, then the harm is provided. If you search for something, you will find out what harm brings radiation but nobody will officially prove it. Think about it yourself, if a mobile phone leaning against an ear is harming a person, then how much damage to a microwave, given the power, is a thousand times larger. My friend served in the army and went to a truck with a locator at the top so when the car was in the forest  the leaves turned yellow whe... [More]

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