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This is What Fire Breathing Looks Like in Slow Motion

Super high speed camera catches a fire breather in action.

Filmmaker Chris Bolton shot fire breathing at 2000 frames per second, and this is what it looks like.

Fire breathing in slow motion looks kind of easy. And, in principle, it sounds easy. You blow fuel out of your mouth at a flame source. But, it’s not easy. How Stuff Works explains why:

It sounds simple, but controlling the fuel’s direction and the consistency of the spray is a technique that takes a lot of time to refine. Fire breathers usually practice extensively with water before ever taking a mouthful of fuel or lighting a torch. They focus on controlling the spray’s direction and consistency.

The world record for simultaneous fire breathing was set in 2009, when 293 students in Maastricht breathed fire together. The highest flame ever was 8.05 meters, set last year in a Las Vegas warehouse. Fire breathers even have their own association in North America – the NAFAA – that regulates safety.

Basically, before you try this, slow motion or not, you should probably consult someone who knows what they’re doing.

 

More from Smithsonian.com:
Breathing Fire
Clyde, from the Circus Ghosts Series

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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