Carrots Are Exploding In The Microwave

A strange new phenomenon is occurring — people’s carrots are lighting on fire in the microwave. According to Food and Wine, the little vegetables are turning into lighting rods. This is called “arcing,” and it can happen with kale, green beans and peppers too. Arcing is when your microwave sparks — and carrots cause arcing because of minerals in the soil they grow in. Iron, magnesium and selenium are the main culprits — these minerals cause a reaction in the microwave. Hot dogs can light on fire too, because of salts and other additives hiding in them that could end up sparking a little bit of flame.

According to NPR, shape also matters when it comes to the carrots conducting these sparks. If the foods are sliced up with sharp edges, they’re even more likely to ignite. This is because the points create a stronger electric field. Two grapes cut in half and attached by their skin will also basically form an antenna, so it’s also important to not cut them in this fashion if you want to avoid a microwave inferno. Microwaves are so important, but at the end of the day, there is subtle chemistry going on during the process, so make sure you avoid anything that may set off an unwanted reaction.