“There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.”
-Vincent Van Gogh
Fire breathing potentially dates it’s history all the back to the invention of alcohol, and Persia.
But the first known popularization came with medieval traveling performers.
Paraffin or highly purified lamp oil is used as the preferred alcohol for fire breathing. The reason being is it has a relatively
low flash point of 90 degrees Celsius, making it a reasonably safer choice.
The record for the longest duration for one continuous flame is 9.96 seconds set in 2011, by Fredrik Karlsson.
The risk of mouth cancer is significantly increased with long term use of certain
low flash point alcohols, due to higher levels of carcinogens.
“Fire Breathing Pneumonia” is a special type of lipoid pneumonia, specifically developed from the
inhalation of hydrocarbons like lamp oil.
What you have learned today
- Fire breathing is not for the weak hearted (or lunged)
- Using vodka as your alcohol is not a good idea
- As soon as alcohol was invented, people wanted to set it on fire in the most spectacular of ways