Burning magnesium in dry ice video popular on YouTube

A glowing block of solid carbon dioxide

© Declan Fleming

A video demonstrating the reaction of magnesium with solid carbon dioxide has received over one million hits on YouTube.

Burning magnesium in dry ice was the first article written by Declan Fleming for the long-running Exhibition Chemistry series in Education in Chemistry. This dramatic and beautiful demonstration shows that oxygen isn’t always a prerequisite for fire, and reveals carbon’s place in the reactivity series. The article and video were published in September 2011.

To date, the video has received 1,000,727 hits, 838 comments and 2,083 ‘likes’. It has the highest number of views for any video on the Royal Society of Chemistry’s YouTube channel.

Most viewers are located in the US (417,000), Germany (71,656) and the UK (53,763). 92% of them are male and 14% of users watch the video on a mobile device. The majority of people (73%) reach the video through YouTube’s ‘suggested video’ systems.