The official site of bestselling author Michael Shermer The official site of bestselling author Michael Shermer

Firewalking Across Hot Coals

September 1999

Michael Shermer tries his hand at firewalking barefoot across 1000-degree red hot coals and doesn’t get burned. Dr. Shermer provides a scientific explanation for the mysterious phenomenon.

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4 Comments to “Firewalking Across Hot Coals”

  1. CSJ Says:


    what about the leidenfrost effect?


  2. dr k l wickramarathna Says:

    dr carlo fonseka, professor of physiology university of colombo, sri lanka did the same thing 25 years ago, and proved that firewalking is possible without divine help.

  3. Davey M Says:

    Look at the video again. Anyone suppose watering the ground where people stand before they ‘walk’ may contribute to the moistness of the soles of thier feet. Also Michael said he was nervous. Feet sweat when you get nervous. Evaporating water is a cooling effect. Was the surface temperature of the coals measured or underneath them where the burning is happening?

  4. Dharmapala Senaratne Says:

    Prof. Carlo Fonseka in Sri Lanka demonstrated more than 35 years ago that this is not a religious miracle. The simple, obvious rule that fire burns is always valid. In fire walking, whether you will burn or not basically depends on the duration of contact and the degree of temperature of the coals.

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