Yeah, no. Why does this exist? Why does this need to exist? It doesn’t. Actually, scratch that. This needs to exist because it is ridiculously cool. A kind scientist who knows more about chemistry than us kindly shared the effects of his fun – if slightly terrifying – experiments with the internet. It starts with a complicated sounding name and a not-so-innocent looking white powder, but how it ends is enrapturing (and a little horrifying).

The white powder in question is mercury(II) thiocyanate, and was mostly used in pyrotechnics and fireworks years ago. It still has a few uses these days, but the most common use is what we have for you today which has the unbelievably amazing name “Pharaoh’s Serpent”. So remember kids, stay in school so you can one day become a scientist and do cool things with dangerous products.