How TikTok's Viral 'Magic' Candle Trick Actually Works

Science!

TikTok magic candle gif

The Spruce / Bailey Mariner

Do you ever watch something and just get so totally mesmerized by it that you don’t realize that your mouth is hanging open in disbelief? Well, that’s what happened when I watched a viral TikTok video about candles.

Full disclosure: I love candles. I have a non-functioning fireplace, and I’ve filled it with candles. For Christmas I asked my mom to use her entire budget to buy me candles. I also have a new obsession with candlesticks. So to say I was shocked when I saw this amazingly cool candle trick is an understatement.

What Is the Viral 'Magic' Candle Trick?

The woman in the video has a lit candle in her hand. After she blows out the candle, she uses her lighter to light the smoke, which in turn relights the candle. WHAT. JUST. HAPPENED? Watch the TikTok:

Amazing, right?

How Does the 'Magic' Candle Trick Work?

How does she do it? Well, first thing I did after watching this video several times was test this baby out myself. I spent the next twenty minutes relighting every single candle in my home. It took me a few goes to get it right, but once I did, I was hooked.

I thought that if I did it myself, I would be able to tell what’s actually happening to cause the candle to relight itself. Maybe I’d be able to see what was happening if I looked closely enough. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure it out on my own, so I took to Google. And it seems like this candle thing has been on everyone's minds for years as I found articles from 2015 that are still on the first page of the search results.

I was not surprised to learn that the science behind this candle trick is pretty cool. It turns out that the whole fire trick being able to work just comes down to how wax burns. According to ThoughtCo, “when you light a candle, the heat from the flame vaporizes the candle wax. When you blow the candle out, vaporized wax briefly remains in the air.

"If you apply a heat source quickly enough, you can ignite the wax and use that reaction to relight the wick of the candle. Although it looks like you're lighting the candle with smoke, it's really just the wax vapor that ignites.” The flame travels down the smoke.

Science is cool. 

So basically, there are tiny pieces of vaporized wax floating up with the smoke when you blow your candle out. It’s just hanging out in the air for a minute before the smoke dissipates. During that brief moment, you can relight your candle using a match, lighter, or even another candle. It’s a very cool trick and I’m sure you can make it look like it’s magic to an unsuspecting friend or family member.