Ever wanted to make a glowing black snake rise up out of the sand? All you need is sand and a few kitchen ingredients — and the ability to either temporarily disable smoke detectors at home or keep a look out for the authorities in public.

First mix together about four parts powdered sugar to one part baking soda. You don't need much. Only a few teaspoons of each should do — especially for a first try. Next you need some sand; either find a lonely stretch of beach (and I mean very lonely), or grab some sand from the nearest sandbox and put it in a pan at home. Make a mound with the sand, and then carve a little dimple into the mound right on top. Soak the sand with alcohol — it can be rubbing alcohol or lighter fluid. Pour the sugar and baking soda mixture into the depression, and light the entire mound on fire.

The alcohol doesn't burn too hot, so the sand itself should warm but not melt. Sugar and baking soda burn easy, though — and as they burn, they give off water steam and carbon dioxide gas. The baking soda is especially helpful in providing a lot of carbon dioxide, which fluffs up each burnt section, and so after a while a black snake rises out of the sand, its base still on fire and glowing. It should continue to rise an curl for about a minute, until either the alcohol runs out or the sugar mix does.

Top Image: Kimmo Palosaari

Via Kitchen Pantry Scientist.