Could You Survive Home Alone?

Could You Survive Home Alone?

Vsauce, I’m Jake and my parents have left
Which is scary because I’m only 8 years
old but the silver lining is, that being 8, I
have an incredibly intuitive understanding
of thermal dynamics, mechanical engineering,
and physics in general.
Which is good because there have been a lot of robberies in my neighborhood.
So to protect myself I’ve recreated some of the traps from the movie Home Alone.
Now, there have been videos and articles about this before, about how damaging the traps would be.
But nobody has recreated them, physically,
and tested them on the human body…or in
our case, a ballistic dummy.
So we will be testing two traps that always
stood out to me as being the most fascinating:
The red hot door handle, and paint can to
the face.
As a bonus, even though it isn’t a trap,
the crowbar to the chest because that just
has to be dangerous, that is if you even made
it past those first two.
Oh…I think I hear the bandits coming towards
the house, I’m gonna go get ready.
Hey, we’re the Threadbanger Bandits and
we are robbing all these empty houses, right
That’s right Rob. We’re gonna knock off this little 8 year
old kid cus it’s not like he has a bunch
of intricate traps set up that could seriously
hurt us.
Corinne, you check the front door and I’ll
try the back.
Now we need to heat up a door handle to such
a, literal, degree that it glows red, becomes
incandescent, that is the emission of electromagnetic
radiation from a hot body that makes it visible.
In the film they use an electric BBQ lighter
placed on the interior side of the door, and
the heat then transfers from the brass knob,
through the steel spindle into the exterior
One thing to consider before we test: the
object that is holding this hot door handle.
The door is metal but the interior of it is
wood and foam…so if I had to hypothesis
what’d happen, if we heat the knob close
to 1000°F, the temperature at which it will
glow, then the metal door will start to warp
and the foam and wood inside it will combust
into flame…which wouldn’t be good.
But there’s only one way to know for sure.
After 30 minutes the interior door handle
got to around 900 degrees F. The exterior
door knob, only about 65 degrees F. It’s
taking a very long time so to speed things
up we are going to use this map gas torch
to get things a little bit hotter a little
bit more quickly.
The exterior door knob only got to about 115
degrees F which still wouldn’t be that pleasant
to touch but wouldn’t do that much damage.
The interior door knob we got to a total temperature
of 1400 degrees F. Which is incredibly hot.
To test how badly it would burn instead of
using a hand we used pork belly, which has
similar skin thickness.
And held it on the door handle for 3 seconds
like in the film.
And the burn results were pretty similar to
the movie and pretty severe.
But more importantly what did happen which
i thought would, the interior of the door
lit on fire.
The wood, the foam burned.
The metal right here warped, we could actually
see some fire coming out of the door knob.
Over hours you could probably get the exterior
door knob to heat up not hot enough to glow,
to be incandescent.
But the interior door knob would get there
over a long enough period of time.
Let’s move on.
And it should be noted that with this going
for hours the door would most likely, totally
light on fire which defeats the purpose because
the villains could just walk right in.
So…ya know.
The Hot Door Knob is very similar to the Blowtorch
to the head trap from the film which my friend
Mark Rober and I tested over on his channel.
And speaking of heads and Mark Rober, let’s
find out what happens when a full can of paint
hits you there.
To help explain, the star of my favorite B&W gangster film “Angles with Filthy Physics”,
mechanical engineer Mark Rober.
I’m gonna give you to the count of 10 to get your
ugly, yella, no good – Oh, Vsauce!
It’s you.
Let’s talk paint can to the face physics.
A standard 1 gallon can of paint has a mass
of about 13lbs. In the film the can is
dropped from the top of the stairs with the
bandits roughly in the middle.
This means, as it falls, it gains speed because
of the conversion of gravitation potential
energy to kinetic, which works out to 17 mph.
This is the speed of the can as if it were
just released, but you add in a swing before
release meaning you have a 13lb paint can
coming towards your head at 20mph.
Now if we assume your face crumples a bit
and stops this paint can in about 3/4 of an
inch of travel, that puts the impact force
at 12kN.
That is like getting bare knuckle punched
by Mike Tyson twice at one time.
12kN is 6 times more force than is required
to break your nose.
THEN, if we take that force and divide by
the mass of your head that means your head
snaps back at 266g’s.
That means there is virtually a 100% chance
you will be knocked out and a 42% chance your
skull would actually crack. Now where was I? Oh yeah! I’m gonna give you 10 seconds to get no good, yella belly, ugly, dirty rotten keester outta here.
As Mark was saying, your skull cracking is not good.
Also, because of the way the head is struck,
the bandits are likely to suffer an unhealthy
dose of whiplash – causing even more damage
to the brain.
After this trap, your burgling days are most likely over.
He’s at the top of the stairs!
I think I need to go to the hospital, my hand
is pretty burned.
Get him!
Time to test the trap!
So a paint can to the face would be incredibly devastating…which I feel is an understatement.
But luckily for us, Threadbanger
Bandits are very, very tough so this brings
us to the last test: The crowbar to the chest.
I just need one thing…oh. Here it is!
Why is this happening to me?
Rob…what are you doing?
Corinne…don’t move.
The crowbars weighs about 5lbs.
And is swinging through the air at
around 35 mph
It will deliver a total force of 15,000N. About 4.5 times the amount of force needed
to break an average human rib.
It broke through the skin, 7
ribs, and in this test actually punctured a lung and the heart.
Ok, so after doing this tests, what did we find out?
Well, the hot door handle would get very, very, very hot give enough time, a very long time.
You’d get 3rd degree burns on your hand and you would probably have to go to a hospital.
You wouldn’t be able to use this baby for the rest of the night
Then we get to paint can to the head. Which is devastating, really cool, but really devastating.
That would be the end of your robbing career and you probably wouldn’t walk away from it.
But you do, some how, and we get to crowbar to the chest. Which not only breaks your ribs but punctures your internal organs.
And that’s not good and you should really go see a doctor at this point if this happens to you.
Please this is just a PSA from me to you.
So could you survive the Home Alone traps?
Most likely probably, pretty much, no you couldn’t.
Which makes me think I should check on Rob and Corinne…
And, as always, thanks for watching.

100 Replies to “Could You Survive Home Alone?”

  1. My previous comment seems to have disappeared so here it goes again! At 8:10, the conversion text onscreen should read 56.3km/h. I dragged in the wrong title card and feel nothing but shame. Shaaaammmeeeee SHAAAAMEEEEEEEE

  2. Yeah I’m only 8 I know basic physics last year I only learned basic engineering but next year I’m gonna learn about quantum physics

  3. In the paint can experiment, the can actually bent the dummy’s head back so much, that it’s neck ripped and it could dodge the paint! Ouch!

  4. The door one's completely wrong because it only takes an hour to heat up in the movie – and Kevin doesn't need a gas torch. Sorry, Chris Colombus, you've been scienced.

  5. I remember my friend trying the bucket one on her cousin… Apart from that the bucket was plastic and empty… Her cousin got knocked out…ups

  6. It looks like at 7:18, you mounted the replica of the human to the stairs. In the movie they were just standing and then fell back, would that make the kinetic energy a little less since some of it can be transferred to the body and than falling?

  7. What about the cushioning of the clothing the robbers? They were wearing thick winter clothes and gloves.
    That would've lessened both the crowbar impact and the burn from the doorknob.
    Also, he would've moved to get away from the crowbar hit, thus the point of impact and angle are both wrong.

    What about bad footing?
    Dude was going up stairs, thus making his knees bent and his footing loose along the steps,
    Thus unlike the ballistic dummy he would've been pushed along the impact more and thus lessened it.
    Also, he would've instictively pushed himself back from the thing coming at his face, thus likely resulting in a fall, making the impact of the paint lessen as a result of his body moving away from the point of impact, unlike the dummy.

    It would've been bad, but not as severe as if he was a rigid ballistic dummy that was rooted in place without lower body momentum pushing him forward and upper body momentum pushing him back/down (if he was climbing while leaning forward) from climbing upwards on stairs in heavy shoes and multiple layers of thick clothing.

    Also, a ballistics dummy has less joint flexibility than a person. A person's neck and back would've move more with the impact, with less overall damage than what the dummy showed.

    I'm not saying your wrong, just that you forgot to take into account some bodily joint flexibility & the effect of their clothing as well as the way human fear responses cause us to move away from percievable impacts.
    Try watching the movie in slow-motiom than compare to some slow-motiom impacts, such as what's common on "try not to laugh" videos, as well as parkour & stunt-dubble videos on how they deal with impacts.
    Although the movie's bandits didn't have any training of practice, those things should show a rough example of how even an average person can 'miracalously' come out of a very bad hit unharmed (bruises not counting obviously).

  8. Actually because the door sets on fire, the villains would most likely flee because its causing too much attention and someone is more likely to call the fire services lel.

  9. How come you left at the part with the iron falling on Marv's head, that's the one I was interested in seeing, I'm pretty sure that would have either have broke his head or his neck due to the impact.

  10. wait, is the paint can dummy bolted to the floor or something? the chest barely moves, and snaps back into place afterword's instead of falling down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *