Baby, you're a firework (scientifically speaking)

Take a basic firework — a mortar shell shot up into the air during during Fourth of July displays. The explosive black powder in that firework contains almost the exact same amount of energy as a simple hotdog.

The firework uses the energy in black powder to fill the sky with light. We use the energy in a hotdog to do everything — move, breathe, think, stay alive.

And here's the surprising thing: the firework and your body use the same basic chemical process to get at that energy. Luckily, as Skunk Bear's latest video explains, our version of this reaction is a bit less explosive.

Want to learn more about fireworks? This Skunk Bear video explains the chemistry behind their bright colors. (Hint: It has something to do with everyday table salt.)

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.