- A candle.
- Some matches or a lighter.
- A thick skinned orange (navel oranges work well) or other citrus fruit.
- A knife.
We're using fire again so keep that adult close by and you'd best get them to peel your orange as well.
What to do.
1) Start by peeling the orange. Keep the peel handy, eat the orange.
2) Hold some peel between your fingers and thumb with the orange side facing away from you.
3) Squeeze the peel, you should see little droplets spraying out of it.
4) Light the candle and dim the lights.
5) Now get another piece of peel and squeeze it towards the candle flame.
6) You should see something like this.
Cool ain't it!
What's going on?
Citrus fruit peel is full of an oil called limonene, which is what the droplets are made of. In fact its this stuff that makes the peel smell so nice. Limonene is really flammable, so when you squeeze it into the flame is catches fire and produces that fab flamethrower effect.
Hold on a mo I hear you yell. How come lemon and orange peel smell different if they contain the same chemical that makes them smell? Good question. We it turns out that the limonene in oranges is the mirror image of limonene in lemons and even though they have exactly the same chemical formula our noses can tell the difference.