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Watch dramatic chemical reactions in GIF form

r/ChemicalReactionGifs presents science that sizzles, ignites, and explodes.


Lauren Rae Orsini


Posted on May 28, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 4:35 pm CDT

Usually, there’s two ways to think about science. There’s the more common, boring kind that takes years of research only to end in negligible results. And every now and then, there’s an instantaneous reaction that starts with an explosion and ends with a bang.

For the latter kind of science, look no further than r/ChemicalReactionGifs. Just six days old, the subreddit has satisfied Reddit’s craving for both geekery and holy-crap-awesome cinematics. On Sunday, it even made r/SubredditOfTheDay. Founder and moderator lolitsaj said he got the idea for the subreddit after an NaCl (table salt) reaction made the front page.

“Someone posted in the thread that someone should really create r/chemicalreactiongifs, and being a chemistry major myself, I thought it’d be a fun thing to do,” he said. “Chemical reactions can often be very beautiful or extremely explosive, so that’s a plus!”

Below are some of the most fascinating chemical reactions. We assure you it’ll be safer (and less messy) to watch these than to try them at home!

Photo by FatGrover

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*First Published: May 28, 2012, 11:05 am CDT