Fire Walking on Hot Coals, Burn or be Burned

Fire Walking
Photo by [clarita] morgueFile
You’ve probably heard of fire walking or these mysterious folks that walk on a blazing bed of coals. They seems to come out the other side unharmed, or do they? Is it really possible to walk on a bed or red hot blazing coals and not be burned? Let’s take a look at this extremely unnatural event and see what we can come up with.

Mind Over Matter

Of course the ultimate illusion to this whole fire walking phenomena is that the person walking on the hot coals is using a trick called “Mind over Matter” in order to safely walk across the coals without getting burned.

Mind over matter is a pretty simple concept that states, “If you release your mind and take yourself somewhere else, then your body will never know you were walking on the fiery coals.” Meaning, that if you can convince your mind that you aren’t walking on the coals, then you won’t get burned.

Now how real does that sound? From all things that we know of the human body, it’s going to know it’s getting burned whether you’re thinking about it or not. I can see how someone may be able to concentrate hard enough on something else that they may ignore the actual task. But in the end, the body is still sensitive to the elements around it. Not thinking about it simply isn’t enough to keep you from getting burned.

Sadly, many of the “Fire Walking Experts” also give you the option to learn this magical process, with a heft fee of course.

There have been many “fire walkers conventions” held where the experts will convince a large room of folks that they may believe in their inner beings strengths to the point of walking across this hot smoldering bed of coals. Then the highlight of the convention is that you get to actually try it, the walk over the bed of coals is approx. 3 feet wide by 10 feet long.

Is Fire Walking Really Possible?

Now even though I’ve been talking about certain aspects that would seemingly make this fire walking phenomenon impossible, that doesn’t dispute that it has actually been done, on many occasions I might add. But how?

Fact of the matter is, you can make this fire walk, but it doesn’t mean you have to mentally prepare or meditate for hours to accomplish it. Now don’t get me wrong, in my own defense, I am in no way suggesting anyone try this at home, in fact I would steer toward you NOT TRYING THIS AT HOME!

That being said, let’s talk about the two aspects of fire walking that do in fact make this event possible. Let’s take a look at the Leidenfrost Effect, which is also known as the “sizzle effect.”

At the point that you are approaching the hot bed of coals, the anticipation of what may happen would cause you a great deal of nervousness to say the least. This is the point that you would begin sweating bullets, this would also include your feet sweating. So at the point you actually step onto the bed of coals, you already have a thin layer of moisture built up on the soles of your feet. This thin layer of moisture will immediately turn to vapor when you step on the coals. This vapor is what will protect your feet just long enough to emerge out the other side of the bed of coals.

Another aspect of fire walking that helps you to come out unscathed is the use of wood as the fire agent. Wood is actually a very poor conductor of heat and the heat will travel quite slowly through it. So if you are moving fast enough over the wooden coals, and I imagine that you would be, then you can get across before getting burned.

A Few Other Tricks to Fire Walking

There are also a few extra trick that fire walking experts will use to make this “feet” more possible. One being that they never add more wood to the bed of fire. Adding more to the fire would cause the coals to generate more heat thus getting hotter as time moves on.

Of course the “experts” will sample this event for their audience several times before allowing anyone else to attempt it, so this give the fire time to die down a bit. By the time the last person has gone over the coals, the temperature is nominal at best. So if you are planning to attempt this I would definitely suggest being the last person through…lol

It is also known that they may instruct you to walk over a bed of grass in preparation of the fire walk. The grass will help to coat the feet which can also allow some protection to the fire.

So basically what we’ve learned here is that walking across a bed of fire is in fact possible. And it can be done without being badly burned. BUT, it is also possible to be badly hurt and burned to a crisp. So if you are planning to attempt this please do not try it unless being under the guidance of a fire walking expert and always have medical staff nearby.

Have you ever walked on a bed of fire and lived to tell the tale? Please share with us in the comments below.


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14 thoughts on “Fire Walking on Hot Coals, Burn or be Burned
    1. Yah, my intention definitely wasn’t to destroy the magic behind firewalking, but it is interesting to look into the facts behind it. Most things that seem unnaturally impossible have some sort of trick behind them. Firewalking is no exception 🙂

      Thanks a bunch for dropping in.

  1. Great article!
    Let me put this straight, you will never see me walking on fire haha! Maybe I do sometimes, but not literally, for example when I am having a bad time in my life. But on hot coals? Nah nothing for me 🙂

    1. I hear you Nederlands, walking on hot coals doesn’t sound like a good time to me either. Interesting…yes, but a good idea…No!

      I suppose all of us take a walk on the coals in a figurative manner throughout life, hopefully the coals burn out quickly.

      Thanks a bunch for dropping by!

  2. This is a fun post 🙂 Actually interesting how it works, not planning to try this any time soon though!

    1. Hey thanks Annie, I thought it was a pretty cool subject. Even though we know these types of things aren’t physically possible, or at least they way they want you to think they are. But it is still quite interesting and somewhat of an art to do this fire walking task all the while keeping the audience amazed and on edge!

  3. Many think that its a magic but I say its their faith on God they worship. I saw live this walkers walking on 400 degree burning coal.

    1. Wow, how cool that must of been to see a live event with fire walkers. Could you feel the heat coming off of the coals? Did they allow others to attempt the feat?

  4. Liked the article, however i don’t think i could ever do that . Once happened to me to get burned and the experience wasn’t funny at all.

    1. Oh goodness Alexander, certainly getting burned wouldn’t be a very good experience. Was it really bad?

      On another note thanks for reading!

      1. It was just an incident, tried to light up a cigarette and threw the match over my shoulder, without noticing it -it started to burn then i saw a flame on my shoulder, good that that time i was well dressed and i am bald 🙂 on one hand funny…on the other – 3 terrible seconds of my life

        1. Wow Alexander that’s a pretty intense situation you were in there. That could of potentially ended very badly. I’m certainly glad you came out unharmed!

  5. hi thanks for this article this article reminded me of those random channels where i saw those so a nice one

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