If you’re hoping to dive down a rabbit hole of slow-motion videos, look no further than the YouTube channel of Gavin Free and Daniel Gruchy, better known as The Slow Mo Guys. Their endeavors are captivating enough at normal speeds (spinning an apple so fast it explodes, seeing how big a condom will inflate in a wind tunnel, bouncing paint on a speaker, etc.), and the decelerated versions are even more so.
In 2019, the duo tackled daytime fireworks. For those who’ve never heard the term, it doesn’t just describe fireworks that you happen to set off before sunset: Daytime fireworks are specifically designed to be viewed while the sun is still shining. While traditional fireworks displays usually involve light explosions that look a little like stars or sparklers, daytime fireworks are all about colored smoke that contrasts against a bright sky.
For their show, The Slow Mo Guys lined up 60 boxes (or “firework cakes”) that each contained 25 tubes of what would become colored smoke upon detonation. After an imperfect first trial—the blue set failed to go off—they tried again, this time running parallel to the row of boxes as a point of reference for the speed of the explosion. According to Free and Gruchy, the result most closely resembled a “rainbow volcano” or what you’d see if “the Muppets dropped a nuke.”
You can watch the whole episode below. Or, if you’re only interested in the slow-mo show, that starts at about 5:08.