Thinking of finishing off that soft boiled egg in the microwave? Or quickly heating up that already hard boiled egg because it’s too cold? Don’t do it unless you want insanely hot egg on your face.
The video above, from youtuber infrared213, demonstrates what happens to a super-heated hard boiled egg so you don’t have to find out for yourself. Around the 38-second mark, a gentlemen barely prods the egg and it explodes with the force of 10,000 cockadoodledoos. Let’s see it again:
So what’s happening here? How does a seemingly harmless egg turn into something that shouldn’t be allowed on an aeroplane? A new study from researchers Anthony Nash and Lauren von Blohn, and presented at the Acoustical Society of America, might have the answer. The New York Times reports that the researchers took a look at the phenomenon after a diner at a restaurant claimed to receive burns and hearing damage from a reheated hard boiled egg that exploded in his face.
To test things out, they microwaved nearly 100 eggs to see if an exploding egg could really be loud enough to cause hearing damage. Their data suggests that’s not the case, but they did learn why the explosions happened in the first place.
The yolks of the eggs they tested ended up being hotter than 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to boil water (super-heated stuff is dangerous, people). When an egg cooks inside its shell, tiny pockets of water form throughout. Then, if the yolk heats up, it heats the water pockets.
But because the water is under pressure in the shell, it wouldn’t boil unless something disturbed that delicate balance. If the egg cracks at all — boom. Bits of piping hot egg fly everywhere and could definitely cause burns. So, uh, just don’t do that, OK?