John M. Price ez001932 at
Tue Dec 7 02:57:41 EST 1993

Kenneth Wu (kwu at wrote:
: I don't think PNI has anything to do with firewalking, inaddition to the
: low heat capacity of the coals as mentioned in another message, there is
: another reaosn.

: The firewalking ceremony is done at night, when the grass is damp. The
: walkers walk onto the coals, and a thin layer of vapor forms between the
: feet and the coals, like when you put water droplets on a frying poan and
: they stick around for a very long time because of this vapor.

Well, they don't just stick!  They dance, occasionally sputter, and
generally move about as if flying across the surface.  It has to be hot,
VERY HOT, or the thin layer of steam does not form, and you get the normal
steaming smear.  I was, of course, amazed at this as a kid, perhaps by Mr.
Wizard even!  Yes, perhaps to date me, it was in B&W! 

: This is the Leidenfrost effect.

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