In Southeast Asia, the Hindenburg makes a hair-raising encore.

The Hot-Air Balloon Festival of Myannmar, formerly known as Burma, is a popular yearly blowout. Different neighborhoods of Taunggyi, a large city in the center of the country, compete to see who's crafted the best buoyant aircraft.

It's pretty clear who won this year's contest. It was the madman who rebuilt the Hindenburg and set it loose over a crowd of party-goers, where it vomited volleys of flaming missiles and brought infinite chaos to the suddenly frenzied streets.

The immolation of a large balloon carrying a hefty payload of fireworks occurred during the Tazaungdaing festival, an ages-old holiday signaling the end of the rainy season. Too bad, that: A boatload of rain might've kept this floating conflagration under control. The accident happened in late November, although it was only uploaded to YouTube this week by Kyle Mijlof, a veteran combat photographer to judge from the way he keeps the exploding aircraft in center frame.

What caused this fright night of fire and screams in Myanmar? One YouTuber, pocketjohnson, is guessing at the answer: "Looks like a classic case of false lift – a steady wind blows across the top of the balloon when it is held static on the ground creating lift. As soon the balloon moves with the wind the lift disappears and down it comes!"

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Environment

    A 13,235-Mile Road Trip for 70-Degree Weather Every Day

    This year-long journey across the U.S. keeps you at consistent high temperatures.

  2. Design

    Paris Will Create the City's Largest Gardens Around the Eiffel Tower

    The most famous space in the city is set to get a pedestrian-friendly redesign that will create the city’s largest garden by 2024.

  3. A photo of a Tesla Model X inside the Boring Company's demonstration tunnel in Los Angeles.
    Transportation

    Dig Your Crazy Tunnel, Elon Musk!

    The Tesla CEO says his Boring Company tunnel cost $10 million per mile to build. If that’s true, it could be a big deal for public transit.

  4. Perspective

    Netflix’s ‘Street Food’ Reveals a Thriving and Threatened Culture

    In cities globally, street vendors are an essential source of food and provide critical income to women but recent crackdowns are threatening this lifestyle.

  5. Opponents of SB 50.
    Equity

    Despite Resistance, Cities Turn to Density to Tackle Housing Inequality

    Residential “upzoning” policies being adopted from Minneapolis to Seattle were once politically out of the question. Now they’re just politically fraught.