The exploding ashtray prank was once fairly commonplace long before the Internet was born. Using flash cotton to create a startling explosion, this prank is certainly effective at getting a reaction. Flash cotton is a staple of many magic acts; used for its ability to create a brilliant flash of fire without causing a burn to the skin.
If used properly and in small amounts, flash cotton is mostly harmless, but it does create real fire. There is an inherent danger if used around flammable materials. Common sense should be used to determine when pranking of this kind is appropriate and safe.
It should also be noted that the above video shows very large amounts of flash cotton being ignited directly in the hands. This is done for entertainment only with many safety measures in place and should not be replicated.
Dozens of sources for flash cotton can be found instantly through a Google search. As mentioned in the video, it is also commonly available from most magic shops.
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Have fun and stay safe this April Fool's Day.
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