Cell phones don’t pop popcorn

Videos like this are very amusing because it not only are they believable, but for those that don’t understand the science or technology behind the every-day gadgets, it’s makes it even harder to convince people otherwise because they “see it for their own eyes”.


Mobile phone cooking has already been disproved a number of times but process is pretty simple. If you think about the difference between your microwave and a cell phone in RF power, there’s almost a 50-80 times difference. The amount of energy required to generate heat to bring popcorn to actually pop is significant compared to what is actually generated by the phone. In fact, the amount of heat would make it so that your phone would probably not be able to be held. On top of that, if the RF was generating this type of heat signature, the air around the popcorn would actually be hot and there would have to be excess heat since it’s not in an enclosed area. This would mean that you need even more power.
Finally, if you notice from most of these hoaxes, the tables all have some sort of table cloth covering the bottom. While the American one shown above doesn’t look quite that off since tables usually have tablecloths, the Japanese one below is just strange. Maybe it’s just me, but the cloth seems to be longer than the actual table height which would mean it’s not for aesthetics. My initial thought is that there is a heating element beneath the table itself.

It definitely is an interesting viral video, and who knows what exactly it’s supposed to prove, but it does lend itself to one of the more realistic videos of the time.

  • Kotatsu

    The table cloth on the japanese table is long because it is part to the special type of table called a kotatsu. The quilted cloth is part of the table and has long sides so that people can sit with there legs under the table and stay warm. Japanese home typically do not have central heat/air and use space heaters and kotatsu tables to keep warm in the winter.

  • Kotatsu

    The table cloth on the japanese table is long because it is part to the special type of table called a kotatsu. The quilted cloth is part of the table and has long sides so that people can sit with there legs under the table and stay warm. Japanese home typically do not have central heat/air and use space heaters and kotatsu tables to keep warm in the winter.

  • Turns out the videos were part of a viral marketing campaign for a blue tooth headset. Lame if you ask me especially since it spreads FUD. If there is a good thing to come of this, it will probably be a new segment on Mythbusters.

  • Turns out the videos were part of a viral marketing campaign for a blue tooth headset. Lame if you ask me especially since it spreads FUD. If there is a good thing to come of this, it will probably be a new segment on Mythbusters.