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Big Mac topped with molten copper is a very unhappy meal

The McDonald's Big Mac may appear indestructible, but we're actually witnessing a scientific phenomenon in action.

Bonnie Burton profile photo
Bonnie Burton profile photo
Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
2 min read

Everyone knows the McDonald's Big Mac consists of two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. Ever wonder what would happen if you added piping hot molten copper to the mix?

YouTuber Tito4re posted the video "Molten Copper vs Big Mac" on March 10, and the video continues to trend on Facebook and Twitter, with more than 2 million hits and climbing.

As melted copper is poured over a it almost appears as though the metal liquid bounces off both the sesame seed bun and the burger itself.

Enlarge Image

The special sauce on this McDonald's Big Mac? Molten copper.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

While McDonald's has been subject to more than a few accusations of using "pink slime" in its burgers, that doesn't mean a Big Mac cannot be destroyed by melted copper.

Leave it to skeptics' site Snopes to give us the low down on why a Big Mac appears impervious to molten metal.

Apparently, it's all due to something called the Leidenfrost effect, a scientific phenomenon in which a liquid in "near contact with a mass significantly hotter than the liquid's boiling point, produces an insulating vapor layer," according to Engineers Edge.

In this case, the moisture in the Big Mac instantly boiled when it came in close contact with the molten copper, Snopes explained, and the resulting steam created a temporary protective layer. The molten copper hovered over the Big Mac's surface rather than making physical contact.

The same effect happened when YouTuber Backyard Scientist poured molten aluminum onto a raw steak.

The Leidenfrost effect is so fun to watch in action that even the science reality show "MythBusters" tested it in 2009 where host Adam Savage put his hand in molten lead without being burned.

Now is probably a good time to mention that anyone reading this probably shouldn't try any of this at home. That why YouTubers like Tito4re exist, to risk their lives to entertain us with molten metal videos like these.

Tito4re has had fun in past videos with molten metal and other odd subjects like a tennis ball, a snow globe, giant jawbreaker candy and a cell phone.

The next video Tito4re promises to post will be molten copper vs. McDonald's french fries. In the meantime, feast your eyes on this McDonald's Big Mac topped with cheese, lettuce, onions and molten copper.