Sacrificing a gummy bear to a vat of boiling potassium chlorate is actually not too strange when it comes to using it as chemistry demonstration. But the “world’s largest gummy bear,” now that’s a sight to see.
The experiment is generally done to demonstrate the amount of energy in carbohydrates, like candy.
And boy does this five-pound gummy bear have a whole load of carbohydrates to burn. The gummy bear sold on the novelty product site Vat 19 is 1,400 times the size of an average gummy bear and has more than 6,000 calories.
Watch the reaction for yourself:
What’s happening, according to the chemistry page of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is the thermal decomposition of potassium chlorate into potassium chloride. This heat results in the combustion.