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Why do crackers go bang? © iStock

Why do Christmas crackers go bang?

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Crackers: the only time you can have family fun with gunpowder in the home.

Inside a cracker there are two strips of card, attached end-to-end with a slight overlap. This overlap is treated with gunpowder – a mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulphur.

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When the cracker is pulled, the friction generated between the two strips causes enough heat to set the gunpowder off. The tube amplifies the sound of the tiny explosion.

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