Testing out the traps used in Home Alone. “Ouch” is an understatement…Could You Survive Home Alone?
0:13Vsauce, I’m Jake and my parents have left me…Home…Alone.
0:18Which is scary because I’m only 8 years old but the silver lining is, that being 8, I
0:23have an incredibly intuitive understanding of thermal dynamics, mechanical engineering,
0:26and physics in general.
0:27Which is good because there have been a lot of robberies in my neighborhood.
0:32So to protect myself I’ve recreated some of the traps from the movie Home Alone.
0:35Now, there have been videos and articles about this before, about how damaging the traps would be.
0:41But nobody has recreated them, physically, and tested them on the human body…or in
0:45our case, a ballistic dummy.
0:47So we will be testing two traps that always stood out to me as being the most fascinating:
0:51The red hot door handle, and paint can to the face.
0:54As a bonus, even though it isn’t a trap, the crowbar to the chest because that just
0:58has to be dangerous, that is if you even made it past those first two.
1:03Oh…I think I hear the bandits coming towards the house, I’m gonna go get ready.
1:08Hey, we’re the Threadbanger Bandits and we are robbing all these empty houses, right
1:13That’s right Rob. We’re gonna knock off this little 8 year old kid cus it’s not like he has a bunch
1:17of intricate traps set up that could seriously hurt us.
1:21Corinne, you check the front door and I’ll try the back.
1:29Now we need to heat up a door handle to such a, literal, degree that it glows red, becomes
1:34incandescent, that is the emission of electromagnetic radiation from a hot body that makes it visible.
1:40In the film they use an electric BBQ lighter placed on the interior side of the door, and
1:46the heat then transfers from the brass knob, through the steel spindle into the exterior
1:53One thing to consider before we test: the object that is holding this hot door handle.
1:58The door is metal but the interior of it is wood and foam…so if I had to hypothesis
2:04what’d happen, if we heat the knob close to 1000°F, the temperature at which it will
2:09glow, then the metal door will start to warp and the foam and wood inside it will combust
2:14into flame…which wouldn’t be good.
2:17But there’s only one way to know for sure.
2:33After 30 minutes the interior door handle got to around 900 degrees F. The exterior
2:38door knob, only about 65 degrees F. It’s taking a very long time so to speed things
2:44up we are going to use this map gas torch to get things a little bit hotter a little
2:48bit more quickly.
2:54The exterior door knob only got to about 115 degrees F which still wouldn’t be that pleasant
3:00to touch but wouldn’t do that much damage.
3:03The interior door knob we got to a total temperature of 1400 degrees F. Which is incredibly hot.
3:09To test how badly it would burn instead of using a hand we used pork belly, which has
3:14similar skin thickness.
3:15And held it on the door handle for 3 seconds like in the film.
3:18And the burn results were pretty similar to the movie and pretty severe.
3:22But more importantly what did happen which i thought would, the interior of the door
3:26lit on fire.
3:27The wood, the foam burned.
3:28The metal right here warped, we could actually see some fire coming out of the door knob.
3:32Over hours you could probably get the exterior door knob to heat up not hot enough to glow,
3:38to be incandescent.
3:40But the interior door knob would get there over a long enough period of time.
3:45Let’s move on.
3:48And it should be noted that with this going for hours the door would most likely, totally
3:52light on fire which defeats the purpose because the villains could just walk right in.
4:00The Hot Door Knob is very similar to the Blowtorch to the head trap from the film which my friend
4:04Mark Rober and I tested over on his channel.
4:07And speaking of heads and Mark Rober, let’s find out what happens when a full can of paint
4:11hits you there.
4:14To help explain, the star of my favorite B&W gangster film “Angles with Filthy Physics”,
4:18mechanical engineer Mark Rober.
4:24I’m gonna give you to the count of 10 to get your ugly, yella, no good – Oh, Vsauce!
4:31Let’s talk paint can to the face physics.
4:34A standard 1 gallon can of paint has a mass of about 13lbs. In the film the can is
4:39dropped from the top of the stairs with the bandits roughly in the middle.
4:42This means, as it falls, it gains speed because of the conversion of gravitation potential
4:47energy to kinetic, which works out to 17 mph.
4:53This is the speed of the can as if it were just released, but you add in a swing before
4:58release meaning you have a 13lb paint can coming towards your head at 20mph.
5:04Now if we assume your face crumples a bit and stops this paint can in about 3/4 of an
5:09inch of travel, that puts the impact force at 12kN.
5:13That is like getting bare knuckle punched by Mike Tyson twice at one time.
5:1712kN is 6 times more force than is required to break your nose.
5:21THEN, if we take that force and divide by the mass of your head that means your head
5:25snaps back at 266g’s.
5:29That means there is virtually a 100% chance you will be knocked out and a 42% chance your
5:35skull 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.
5:53As Mark was saying, your skull cracking is not good.
5:56Also, because of the way the head is struck, the bandits are likely to suffer an unhealthy
6:01dose of whiplash – causing even more damage to the brain.
6:05After this trap, your burgling days are most likely over.
6:11He’s at the top of the stairs!
6:13I think I need to go to the hospital, my hand is pretty burned.
6:18Time to test the trap!
7:30So a paint can to the face would be incredibly devastating…which I feel is an understatement.
7:37But luckily for us, Threadbanger Bandits are very, very tough so this brings
7:42us to the last test: The crowbar to the chest.
7:45I just need one thing…oh. Here it is!
7:52Why is this happening to me?
7:56Rob…what are you doing?
8:05The crowbars weighs about 5lbs.
8:07And is swinging through the air at around 35 mph
8:15It will deliver a total force of 15,000N. About 4.5 times the amount of force needed to break an average human rib.
8:19It broke through the skin, 7 ribs, and in this test actually punctured a lung and the heart.
8:34Ok, so after doing this tests, what did we find out?
8:38Well, the hot door handle would get very, very, very hot give enough time, a very long time.
8:43You’d get 3rd degree burns on your hand and you would probably have to go to a hospital.
8:47You wouldn’t be able to use this baby for the rest of the night
8:50Then we get to paint can to the head. Which is devastating, really cool, but really devastating.
8:56That would be the end of your robbing career and you probably wouldn’t walk away from it.
9:01But you do, some how, and we get to crowbar to the chest. Which not only breaks your ribs but punctures your internal organs.
9:09And that’s not good and you should really go see a doctor at this point if this happens to you.
9:13Please this is just a PSA from me to you.
9:16So could you survive the Home Alone traps?
9:18Most likely probably, pretty much, no you couldn’t.
9:23Which makes me think I should check on Rob and Corinne…
9:27And, as always, thanks for watching.