What happens when you try to burn a -78.5 degrees Celsius block of ice with a chemical called thermite? You get a BIG explosion. 

This incredible video shows what happens when you mix fire and ice, with a little help from thermite. Thermite is a chemical mixture that, when ignited by heat, burns so hot that it can melt straight through the engine block of a car. 

In the video, created by YouTuber carsandwater, thermite is placed inside a metal can, and placed on top of dry ice. The thermite is then ignited with a flame, and soon after, the ice is on fire. Once the explosion ends, there's nothing left but a can-shaped hole in the ice and some alien-looking red-hot molten metal. On the side of the setup, you can also see some metal that has been produced from the reaction. So how did thermite burn a hole in the ice?

Thermite is made up of a finely ground mixture of a metal and a metal oxide, commonly, aluminium and iron oxide. When the mixture is ignited, the two undergo an exothermic oxidation-reduction reaction - a type of chemical reaction that releases energy as electrons are transferred between two substances.

In this reaction, aluminium is highly reactive so it reduces iron oxide, producing aluminium oxide (the metal that you can see left over at the end) and a very large amount of heat (that is released by the explosion).

Exactly how thermite causes an explosion with dry ice is not fully understood by scientists. Some experts suggest that the reaction releases a huge amount of energy, causing the ice to turn into a vapour. This vapour condenses around the thermite particles, forming a steam-thermite aerosol. As the mixture continues to react, the particles are thrown up into the air in a cloud of thermite, causing an explosion. 

Another theory suggests that the heat from the burning thermite decomposes the water into hydrogen and oxygen, which, when ignited by the heat, explode.  

While these are some possible explanations, the true reason behind this explosion remains a scientific mystery, but one thing is certain - please do not try this at home.

Source: carsandwater