It was bound to happen at some point, and burning matchstick art is currently having its moment in the spotlight. While we’ve previously seen projects including a 5,000-matchstick chain and a 10,000-stick flaming skull, we’ve never seen something as bonkers (or as flammable) like this:
Earlier this year, burning matchstick art creator Mokso built a fire domino volcano consisting of 17,342 matchsticks. By laying down the matches in a circular order around a cardboard toilet paper roll, he was able to create a hollow outer shell. He filled up the inside of the volcano with matches and poured a handful of matchheads into the cardboard roll to give it a more explosive effect. The resulting, highly-flammable piece took him 25 hours to make and was an inferno in an open field. Despite the damage it did to the ozone layer, the inside of the volcano remained largely unburned and didn’t produce the kind of explosion Mokso wanted.
Fast forward to April 2019 and Mokso has improved his matchstick volcano design. Instead of setting all the matchheads on the outer portion of the volcano, Mokso alternates between setting a few matchheads outside and some inside the volcano.
To add to the explosive effect, he also drills a bunch of holes under the base of the volcano so oxygen can flow freely throughout the inside.
Just like the previous volcano, Mokso creates a small opening for the initial matchstick flame to pass through. This time, the opening is much smaller, and the inside is filled to the brim with matchheads rather than matchsticks.
He continues making the outer layer of the volcano, leaving just a small gap on the top for more matchheads to be added. Before doing so, however, he drills additional holes in the volcano to allow even more oxygen to pass through. Finally, he fills up the hole with the final few matches and prepares to light it up.
In total, the volcano consists of 52,000 matches and cost Mokso roughly $100 to build—not including his time. It took him 94 hours to make the entire video—which included 60 hours for creating the volcano, 15 hours just cutting matches in half, 3 hours for prepping the burning scene, 1 hour to record it, 4 hours just to find the right music (!), 7 hours of video editing, 3 hours of upload time, and 1 hour making the thumbnail.
Since the initial lighting ended up being a dud, Mokso lights the volcano manually from above. Not two seconds pass and the volcano turns into a towering inferno; spouting both flame and burning matchsticks skyward.
The explosion is to Mokso’s liking, as it burns through the entire volcano leaving not even the insides unscathed.