Fifty Dangerous Things 15

Boiling Water in a Paper Cup.

Man is it hard to find paper cups.  Two grocery stores and all we could find was plastic or styrofoam.  So we took the books advice and made our own using origami.  So our first failure in a Dangerous Thing could be blamed on inferior folding technique.  The book claims it will work though, so eventually we’ll have to try it again using a real paper cup.

Boiling Water

Boiling Water

For us it started heating up, but the sides started to catch fire and eventually the water escaped through holes in the side.


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  1. #1 by Diane on August 8, 2010 - 9:59 pm

    We used to do this at girls’ camp all the time. I think the secret is that with the paper cups they have a waxy film on them that keeps them from burning before the water boils.

  2. #2 by Stephen Wilkins on June 5, 2011 - 5:17 am

    I hope I don’t sound rude, but I think Diane wrong. As I remember from Boy Scouts, you had to get paper cups that were not waxed. The lack of wax allows the water to penetrate the paper and evaporate quickly at the surface due to the heat from the flames. The evaporation keeps the temperature of the paper below the burning point which is around 400, yet well above boiling point, 212 (I think). What we did in Boy scouts was use a small paper sack filled with water and an egg, and we made boiled eggs over the fire in a paper sack.

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