How to Destroy the Non-Paper £5 Note

Chris Higgins
Getty Images
Getty Images / Getty Images

In September 2016, the Bank of England issued a new fiver (£5 note) made from a polymer. The new note replaces paper bills, and is designed to be vastly more sturdy. It's nearly impossible to tear. So how can we destroy one of these things? With science!

In the video below, the intrepid Brits of Periodic Videos subject the new fiver to a series of tortures. The most straightforward method is freezing the note with liquid nitrogen, then shattering it with a hammer. Beyond that simple method, things get a bit crazy with fuming nitric acid that's "gone a bit brown." Enjoy:

As professor Poliakoff says in the video above, it's legal to destroy these notes—but illegal to scribble on the Queen's face.

(If you enjoyed that video, there's 15 minutes of raw footage showing outtakes.)