Help! I Just Saw This Popcorn Explode at 30,000 Frames Per Second

January 20, 2017

Here’s some delight for your Friday. A two-video playlist for your next popcorn popping excursion.

Last week, Warped Perception, a videomaking collective based out of Chicago, published two videos on their YouTube channel showing popcorn kernels pop in seriously slow motion, captured by a macro lens.

“This is a simply beautiful clip,” the description of one of the videos boasts. Warped Perception, I agree. Here’s the first, which shows kernels popping at 13,000, then 15,000, frames per second:

Isn’t that nice? And listen to that soundtrack of triumph. Love it.

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If you’d like to go even slower, give this video below a look. It shows kernels pop at 30,000 frames per second—that’s 1,250 times slower than real time. It's got a somber, delicate piano humming in the background:

Who knew a popcorn's flesh had the appearance of a packing peanut? I didn't. Kernels of gold, blossoming like styrofoam. Small, fluffy explosions. Pop goes the world.

Tell us: Did you find these videos soothing, too?

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Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.

1 Comment

Whiteantlers January 21, 2017
These were bothwonderful!