Anyone who has a passing interest in Nintendo’s Mario will know that eating a red mushroom will make the little Italian plumber grow. But it’s surprising that not many people know Mario can also eat a fire flower, allowing him to throw great balls of flame.

While not as famous as his older brother, Luigi can also shoot fireballs from his hands (although his are green). Inspired by this classic power-up, Jake from JLaservideo has decided to put his real-life take on Mario and Luigi’s fireballs.

YouTube video

To give the fire its color, Jake employs the use of some anti-freeze mixed with different chemicals. Creating Luigi’s fireballs is easy enough. By mixing boric acid (which can be found in most roach killers) with anti-freeze and igniting it, he can turn a clear blue flame into an evil-looking green.

irl mario fireballs

Despite being closer to the natural color of flame, Mario’s red fireballs are a little harder to replicate. Jake takes apart an everyday battery to get the lithium inside, which he then mixes with some anti-freeze (you should wear gloves if you plan on doing this yourself because the chemicals inside can be dangerous when they make skin contact). Once mixed, the ignited flame burns a nice, bright red.

irl mario fireballs

With the mixtures in the bag, Jake can focus on creating a glove that can ignite the balls with a push of a button. This is done by taking apart an arc lighter and modifying it so it can fit onto a glove. Jake places the switch onto the index finger so he can easily reach it with his thumb, while the igniter is lengthened using some wires and placed right in the middle of the palm.

irl mario fireballs

All he needs now are balls – tennis balls, that is. After dunking these bad boys in his mixtures, he pops them out of his makeshift ball holder and lights them up with his glove. Bam! Instant fireballs!

What’s great about the tennis balls is that the felt they are covered in is super absorbent, making it easy for them to soak up the lithium-anti-freeze and boric acid-anti-freeze mixtures. All Jake has to do is roll the balls in his mixtures for a few seconds and then light them up for a very satisfying light show.

irl mario fireballs

He should really be wearing more protective gear when playing with these things. Juggling fireballs is best left to the professionals, as a stray ball in the middle of a hot day could lead to an uncontrolled fire. Thankfully, Jake is playing with his fireballs at night. The dark also adds an effect to the fireballs’ illumination, making it a remarkable sight.

You can find more of Jake’s weird inventions on his YouTube channel, JLaservideo.


Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.