How to make fire using a lemon


When you’re stuck in the wilderness, you’ve got to learn how to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily have to. Making a fire is probably first and foremost among those tasks, and there are several well-known ways to do so – but you’ve most likely never heard of this method before. In the incredibly popular YouTube video below, user NorthSurvival showcases a trick using a lemon, of all things, to start a fire.

Now, it’s clear that the likelihood of having nothing but a lemon and several pieces of copper, zinc, electric wire and steel wool to start a fire with in the wilderness is essentially nonexistent. But rather than a survival tip, this definitely makes for a fun experiment – as long as you exercise caution. NorthSurvival’s video shows how inserting copper clips and zinc nails into a softened lemon, then connecting the clips and nails with wiring, can produce a short-circuit which will then start a fire, with the help of steel wool and kindling.

If this feels reminiscent to a certain grade school science project, it should. The process used to start a fire with a lemon is essentially the same as the one that involves using a lemon to conduct electricity and power a light bulb or a battery. Bright Hub Engineering explains this is due to the copper and zinc creating a breakdown in the atomic structure of the electrodes within both metals and the lemon simultaneously, leading to the generation of a new flow of electrons in the lemon.

Be careful: If you attempt this trick yourself, it is important that you use covered wiring like NorthSurvival does in the video – rubber gloves, even, to be safe – in order to avoid electrocuting yourself. Because that’s really the last thing you need to be doing in the wild.

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