Why you should never put water on an oil fire.
On the roof of the Royal Institution, Dr Peter Wothers (presenter of the 2012 CHRISTMAS LECTURES) pours a small amount of water into a beaker of oil. The reaction is so violent because water and oil don’t mix. When the water is poured into the beaker of burning oil it sinks to the bottom and, due to the intense heat, vaporizes into steam almost instantaneously. With this phase change from a liquid to a gaseous state the water expands by up to 1700 times and forces the fire above it upwards. This oxygenates the oil and creates the huge flame.
Watch the full video, with more explanation, here.