Well, now you can, courtesy of 20 gallons of liquid nitrogen and the unbridled curiosity of WIRED staffers.

Almost anything has the ability to crack apart in a spectacular explosion—even a peacock feather, or a baseball—if you leave it in liquid nitrogen long enough.

Just how long depends on how quickly heat moves through the material.

Scientists call this rate thermal conductivity, and it s not as complicated as you think.

Instead, the impact points trigger a fracture, and the object soon becomes many smaller objects.

To the naked eye, this reparative behavior looks like bending.

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