12 Fire Magic Tricks Done With Science

Do you like to play with fire? Do friends call you a pyromaniac? Why not try some sizzling magic tricks. This is a collection of science magic tricks that all involve flames or fire. With science, you can color fire, hold it in your hand, and appear to bend it to your will.

Safety Note: Fire can be a dangerous thing. Please use common sense when working with fire.


Firebreathing. Henrik Sorensen, Getty Images

Firebreathing involves breathing a fine mist of fuel over an open flame to form a fireball. It's the most stunning fire trick and potentially the most risky, since most firebreathing involves using a flammable, toxic fuel. Here are instructions for a safer form of firebreathing, using a non-flammable, non-toxic fuel that you have in your kitchen.

Burning Money

Hand holding burning money
In the burning money demonstration, paper currency is on fire yet is not consumed by the flames. Peter Kim / Getty Images

Light a bill on fire and watch it not burn. This fire magic trick works because paper currency isn't merely paper.​ Actually burning money is illegal.

Handheld Fireballs

Girl holding fireball
Thegoodly, Getty Images

You can handle fire if you make the flames cool enough to touch. Here's a science magic trick that involves juggling balls of fire, though you can adapt the same principles to other fire tricks.​

Blow out a Candle

Blow out a candle by pouring a glass of what appears to be air onto the flame.
Anne Helmenstine

The trick is to blow out the candle without actually blowing on it. Pour a seemingly empty glass over the candle to extinguish the flame.

Match and Water

Fire science magic trick
Anne Helmenstine

This is a simple and interesting fire magic trick in which water is 'magically' drawn into a glass that contains a lit candle or match.​

Colored Fire Spray Bottles

Green fire
Green fire is easy to make and doesn't require any hard-to-find chemicals. Anne Helmenstine

A standard fire magic trick is changing the color of the flame. There are a few different ways you can achieve this fire trick, but one of the easiest is to spray the flame with a color-change chemical.

Smoking Fingers

Smoke coming from a finger
by Jonathan Fife / Getty Images

Rub your fingers together and watch them give off smoke. There isn't any fire with this trick, though it looks as though your fingers might burst into flame at any moment. You can achieve that effect with a bit of flash paper.​

Chemical Fire

Flames against black background
Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

You can start a fire without matches or a lighter. Fire is just a sort of chemical reaction, after all. Here are some chemicals that react to produce flames.​

Ice on Fire

Close-up of burning ice over black background
Paul Fleet / EyeEm / Getty Images

Setting ice on fire or just making it appear ice is on fire is a cool fire magic trick. It's much easier to create the appearance of burning ice, but you can really ignite it if you know how.​

Set Bubbles on Fire

Flaming bubbles
If you blow a flammable gas into soapy water, you can ignite the bubbles, apparently setting them on fire. Anne Helmenstine

There are a couple of different ways you can burn bubbles. One is to bubble hydrogen gas through bubble solution (you could make your own hydrogen through a chemical reaction). Another is to use a common household product as a source of flammable gas. Either way, the real trick is to fill the bubble with something besides air.

Traveling Flame

If you blow out a candle, you can relight it from a distance with another flame.
Anne Helmenstine

Blow out a candle and relight it from a distance with another flame.​

Fire Writing

Fire writing
Anne Helmenstine

Touch a flame to a paper containing an invisible message and see the message revealed in fire! This is a simple fire magic trick, yet impressive.


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