Via the Royal Institution of Great Britain comes this entertaining video on the science of firebreathing, featuring some really great footage shot from the perspective of scientist and fire-eater Dr. Tim Cockerill.
As Cockerill explains in the video, firebreathing ultimately boils down to the unique reactive properties of oxygen, which enables fuel to burn, but fuel volatility is important, as well. By using his mouth to atomize a less-volatile fuel (this increasing the surface area and ignitability of each droplet), Cockerill can spit flames while minimizing the risk of burning his face off. Good thing, too; the first-person shots in this video had us feeling frightened for our eyebrows.
[Spotted on Laughing Squid]