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Watch a glorious watermelon explosion in super slow motion

If you have a few hundred rubber bands and some cleaning supplies, we suggest an unorthodox way of opening up your watermelon this Independence Day: by making it explode.

watermelon

(Gavin Free and Dan Gruchy)

The trick, demonstrated above by Gavin Free and Dan Gruchy (a.k.a. the Slow Mo Guys), appears to have originated in Korea, and simply involves slipping tons of rubber bands around the center of a watermelon. Full-sized ones work best.

As you put them on, the melon will begin to leak. Once there are enough bands, the thing will inevitably rupture, showering you and your loved ones in a fountain of fruit fragments:

This phenomenon is a result of basic physics — and the fact that rubber bands, like springs, generally abide by Hooke's law. This means that the farther you want to stretch a rubber band, the more force is needed to keep it stretched to that distance.

In this case, the rind of the watermelon is providing that force to keep the rubber band stretched. But it can only provide so much. If you estimate that each band requires, say, 30 newtons of force to be stretched around the melon and there are a few hundred bands, the rind will crack under all that pressure — and the softer fruit underneath will be even less capable of holding the bands taut, leading to a sudden explosion.

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