In this episode of ExpeRimental, Lisa and Josh explain the unseen as they make a flame jump through the air. Josh also measures how long it takes for covered candles to extinguish on their own. There’s more activity info at RIGB.org.

Watch this related vid next: The Hidden Complexities of the Simple Match.

Plus, enjoy an extra trick! Why is the candle sucking water up into the jar as if by magic? Try this experiment at home with different kinds of candles and jars, then click here to find out what’s happening.


As always, be safe, smart, and keep an adult with you when conducting fire experiments. The Royal Institution recommends (pdf) conducting this experiment on a table that’s completely cleared of any flammable objects or materials, to not leave the lit candle unattended, make sure candles are completely blown out, and to be aware of how hot candle wax and wicks can be until they’ve cooled.

Fire experiments are also a great conversation starter about fire prevention and safety tips, and using matches as tools.

For more fun experiments for kids from The Royal Institution, visit rigb.org/experimental. There are also more experiments on this site.

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