Jill Layton
March 15, 2016 10:28 am
YouTube

You’d think pouring liquid copper over any type of food would instantly completely burn through said food, considering the temperature of molten copper is 1,984 degrees Fahrenheit. Since we put food into our mouths to chew, swallow and then digest, it just makes sense that 1,984 degrees of intense heat would also be effective at breaking the food down.

Well, that’s not the case with a McDonald’s Big Mac. YouTube user Tito4re filmed himself pouring liquid copper over a Big Mac, and the Big Mac put up a serious fight.

The bun caught fire right away, leaving a gnarly char. But the molten copper seems to slide off the burger patty without leaving too much damage. The entire sandwich eventually caught fire, but it took a lot longer than expected—you know, for something designed to go into our bodies.

This of course may validate the idea that Big Mac’s are completely toxic and inedible, but there’s actually a logical scientific explanation behind it. It’s called the Leidenfrost effect, and it’s super cool.

“The Leidenfrost effect occurs when a liquid comes in near contact with a solid significantly hotter than its boiling point; the surface of the liquid comes to a nearly immediate boil, creating a thin layer of protective steam,” USNews explained.

So it’s the same as when you drop water onto a hot pan or skillet and the drops sort of float across the surface (or when you throw ice onto the grill at Benihana… or was that just me and my sister?). In this case, the moisture in the burger protects it briefly before it’s burned by the copper.

The phenomenon even allows humans to dip a wet finger directly into molten copper without getting burned. Definitely don’t try it at home, but it’s a thing.

So if you weren’t ready to quit Big Macs today, you don’t need to after all. At least, not because of molten copper.

Check out the video that has over 1.4 million views, because science is rad:

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