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Turns out you don’t need much voltage to zap a pencil to smithereens

It only takes 120 volts to burn this pencil.


Mike Fenn

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 12, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 12:04 am CDT

If you ever wanted to burn a standard pencil, you would likely turn to a cheap lighter. One YouTube user decided to try a far less conventional (and thus much more stupid) method—a device capable of generating 120 volts of electricity.

To put it into perspective, 120VAC is enough voltage to power a TV and most other appliances (larger devices like washing machines require double the amount). Using it to singe a pencil, as user ledler0321 did, is akin to squashing an ant with a Hummer.

While things turned out relatively OK for everyone involved (except the pencil), it would still be wise to not invite ledler0321 to light your Christmas tree.

Image via Dan Foy/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Dec 12, 2014, 9:20 pm CST