Forums > Technical Discussion > GIANT Fire balls without breathing

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85 posts
Location: Bangkok

I saw this in Singapore : One guy holding a torch up and another guy thorwing from below a hand full of ??? out of a bag through the flame. Would say a 5 meter+ flameball

My question to you now. What did they use (Lycopodium ?!?) and have you ever done something like this by yourself?
Seems to be a good choice for those who dont want to take the risk of Fire-breathing.


Fine_Rabid_DogInternet Hate Machine
10,530 posts
Location: They seek him here, they seek him there...

*Scratches head*

Does that make any sense?

You give one reason, then list what seems to be the possible results of fire breathing.



The existance of flamethrowers says that someone, somewhere, at sometime said "I need to set that thing on fire, but it's too far away."

87 posts
Location: New South Wales

ok i explain again i think that blowing flour off your hand thru a naked flame is as safe as normal fire spinning (the risk of just setting things on fire)

for a couple of reasons i am going to give examples in flour but they are the same as other non-dairy powders you find in kitchen

1. there is no risk of blowback as flour can only ignite in dust form so any powder left on your hand will act as more as a shield

2, with traditional fire breathing there are MANY long-term and short-term affects short term including but not limited too

fuel poisoning dry cough headache

dizzyness drunken ill feeling nausea

diarrhea vomiting stomach ache

dry/cotton mouth topical heat burns severe burns

and long term affects include

death cancer

dental problems stomach and tissue ulcers

chemical pnuenomina acute respiratory distress

with powder fire breathing you can only get a dry cough and dry mouth making it a MUCH safer option to fire breathing

Mark PBRONZE Member
old hand
1,031 posts
Location: Bath, England

Quote : Immortal Angel

Well, humans weren't really meant to be spewing fire from their mouths in the first place if you want to get into it ^.^' But I think my point was still there...

What about those of us that were raised by Dragons?

The issue of the piano/black powder/flour myth is an interesting one. The black powder will ignite producing a lot of gas (which is the basic combustion process of black powder. It is when this is confined to a small area that it will cause an explosion.

I guess most people have come across the red 'french banger' style bangers, many of these contain black powder in a cardboard tube and a black powder fuse. The fuse will burn with a slight crackle but then when the flame hits the powder that is contained in the tube that is where you get the explosion.

If you are mixing flour with black powder, the black powder would first ingite dissipating the flour over a large area and then assuming there is still a source of ignition the flour would ignite when it is in thte right concertration creating a flash of fire. biggrin

I am probably going to try and have a look at powder use, I can remember in the first year of my degree pouring Coffee Mate (milk powder) out of a 3rd floor window onto a fire and that created nice big flashes but wasnt very easy to control.

With some kind of tube devices to create the desired shape/flow of powder you could probably get some really nice fireballs.

Mark P ubbrollsmile

Colin Jsmall member
116 posts
Location: Hastings

I've never heard of people using the powders directly in their mouths. Sounds a bit sketchy to me.

I was taught how to do the custard powder trick years ago. the way I was shown was to modify one of those film roll pots, fill it with powder and palm that up to the mouth and blow the powder out of that. This trick though having a danger factor is imo safer than fire breathing with liquids. But also is not as impressive either.

15,416 posts
Location: South Wales

but on the plus side....

You do get to use custard.


LazyAngelGOLD Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
2,895 posts
Location: Cambridge UK

BTW any fine powder, when suspended in air, is potentially explosive due to the much larger surface area in contact with oxygen. Which is why iron fillings will burn in a hot flame. BE VERY CAREFUL COMBUSTING POWDERS: THEY *ARE* DANGEROUS AND DIFFICULT TO CONTROL

Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

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PyroWillGOLD Member
HoP's Barman. Trapped aged 6 months
4,437 posts
Location: Staines, United Kingdom

I do something similar when im working at the bar, after i do a 'Dante's inferno' name from doigna waterfall with two black sabucas i then put cinnamon powder on it and wooooshhhh, but as with all flammable items, be careful!!

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind

Give a man a fish and he'll eat 4 a day hit a man with a brick and you can have all his fish and his wife

"Will's to pretty for prison" - Simian

97 posts
Location: Brisbane, Queensland

A 5M ball of fire from one handfull of anything sounds dubious.

I used to make fireballs about 5M diameter that rose up 10-15M high by submerging an explosive device (with about 30mL of 50/50 magnesium filings / pottasium permanganate, coated in epoxy and electrically fired with an internal heating element at 12v on a remote controled switch) submerged in about 4L of petrol. 20L of fuel and about 100mL of explosive makes a fireball about 15 - 20M across that rises up about 30-40M high.

Flour does not light well in this mannor, so the piano sounds dodgy. Sulphur powder lights well if thrown by hand, but I suspect it gives out UV as I had sore eyes later that night like a welding flash, even without contacting the extreamely toxic fumes this activity will allways produce. DO NOT USE SULPHUR for both of these reasons.

To blow a piano to smitherines and kill a few people I suspect you would be talking more of a soda syphon or small fire extinguisher of black powder, but I dont have much experience with it as it was hard to get durring my well mis spent youth playing with explosives and fire. To not find the body you would need hundreds of kg of something like 80mL of diesel per kg of ammonium nitrate, and you would wipe out the whole building, not just a few nearby spectators.

I personally dont beleive in aspirating any flammable substance by mouth and lighting it, Just look in the " ARDS" thread by Doc Lightning to see why.

As for building a flamethrower to take the place of fire breathing , I wont give the nessecary design advice here as the last thread on flamethrowers was removed compleatly within a few hours of me replying to post my advice, so I think the moderators of this site dont like me telling people how to do those sorts of things and corrupting a whole generation of potential pyromaniacs.

Explosives are also only for those who realy know what they are using is only going to go off ONLY when they stoke it volentaraly, not some dodgy unstable recipie from the notoriuosly inacurate anarchists handbook. I learned about them slowly over several years, but it only takes 1 mistake and you are stuffed, even if you have safe explosives and know how to use them. LEAVE THEM ALONE and get your thrills from rock climbing or fire walking instead.

Mr_chazBRONZE Member
23 posts
Location: Harrogate, Yorkshire, United Kingdom

the smaller the particle the bigger the flame (as lazy angel pointed out, surface area is the thang) so if u have an incredibly fine powder the bigger the surface area. custard powder therefore works way better then flour.
Anyways about all this burning your mouth stuff....surely the powder would get wet in your mouth??? is it not better to blow into a container/tube which has the powder already in it?

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