We’ve all seen our fair share of chain domino videos. By stringing together a bunch of blocks in an orderly (or disorderly) fashion, you can cause a chain reaction just by pushing one single domino. You’ve seen one. I’ve seen one. Heck, it doesn’t even take much to stack up a bunch of flat blocks to make your domino chain reaction.
But what if you stacked something more dangerous than a pile of dominoes? Say, a pile of highly combustible matchsticks? This is the spin YouTube creator BLACKHAND has put on the classic and oddly satisfying pastime.
Unlike dominoes which can stand on their own, matchsticks require balance and a bit of glue to stand upright on a surface. By cutting and laying down the same type of matchstick in different ways, BLACKHAND manages to create diversity in a bunch of wooden splinters.
Before the full matchstick pattern starts to get tedious, he mixes it up by cutting down pieces and branching the pattern outwards in a diagonal manner. If this wasn’t enough, he even lays down a couple of matchsticks flat on their sides to start a chain reaction which will set off other matchsticks located about halfway down the initial ones.
But for the coup de grâce? A shameless plug by the creator stuffing a bunch of matchsticks together to form his personal logo. Using a paper stencil as a guide, BLACKHAND sets the empty text space within the match-made glove. Now it’s just a matter of connecting this clump of matches to the initial overarching path to make sure it lights up correctly.
Now it’s time to light it up! Watching the fire and hearing the sizzle coming from the initial first clump of matches is nearly `just as satisfying as hearing a crowd of dominoes fall.
As the fire goes down its predetermined path, you start to realize how many factors could cause this chain reaction to go wrong. The fire could blow in the wrong direction and prematurely set off another part of the build. It could die out mid-burn and force BLACKHAND to start the whole thing from scratch. This could have been his first or his thirtieth try, but thankfully he managed to get the entire thing burning on camera.
As you can see near the end of the reaction, a later section of matches does get burnt down a little earlier than anticipated. Thankfully, their fire-strewn path to the BLACKHAND logo continues its rather slow crawl…
… and ends in a gigantic burst of flame! The red match tips sizzle to black, effectively coloring BLACKHAND’s logo exactly how he wants it to look (I hope he had a fire extinguisher on hand since the ball of fire starts to look dangerously big as the screen goes to black). You can’t entirely reuse these 5,000 matches the same way you reuse dominoes, but if all goes as planned, one good show is all you need.
BLACKHAND has a lot of his homemade do-it-yourself projects over on his YouTube channel (most of them are safer than burning a forest’s worth of matchsticks). You can find them there or on his Instagram profile.