Economic Boom: 7 Things in China that Unexpectedly Explode

Things are booming in China, though not always in a good way – just the opposite, actually. From watermelons to whales and coffee makers to coins, these 7 unexpectedly explosive objects prove even well-designed products can bomb in the marketplace.


7) Exploding Watermelons

The concept of exploding watermelons may seem amusing but if you're a Chinese farmer and your chief cash crop has started to pop, that smug smile will quickly turn upside down. The odd phenomenon was noted across a wide swath of eastern China during the summer of 2011 and initial reports blamed the mass melonicide on farmers who overused a plant growth stimulator. Trouble is, even growers who didn't use the chemical had their fruit go kaput. (exploding watermelon image via Herald Sun)


6) Exploding Mobile Phones

Mobile phones have occasionally emitted smoke, caught fire and yes - exploded - but it seems to happen more in China than anywhere else. Could it be that counterfeit batteries made in China are the culprits? Spokespersons for Motorola and Nokia, manufacturers of the exploding phones, place the blame squarely on the counterfeiters and the people who patronize them. Sounds like a recipe for disaster... or a modern update of the old "Candygram for Mongo" gag. (exploding mobile phone image via An American in China)


5) Exploding Whales

OK, so Taiwan isn't actually "China" unless you subscribe to the PRC's party line, whales aren't a manufactured product and China (or Taiwan) has no monopoly on exploding whales (I'm looking at you, Oregon) but the mere fact that a 50-ton cetacean went kablooey in the center of downtown Tainan can't be overlooked... or oversmelled, for that matter. (exploding whale image via Weird Asia News


4) Exploding Coffee Makers

The latest addition to the China-related "things that go boom" file concerns exploding Tassimo single-cup coffee brewers sold in the USA and Canada. Close to two million of the "popular coffee makers" have been recalled following 140 reports of the hipster-ific units "spraying hot liquid, coffee grounds or tea leaves onto people." How uncouth! The renegade robo-baristas are said to hail from China and Slovenia. In related news, Slovenia seems to be the new China. (exploding coffee maker image via Failblog


3) Exploding Computer Monitors

A 22-year-old woman from China’s Zhejiang province reports her computer monitor making like a "volcano" mere seconds after she had turned on. Now THAT's one realistic screensaver! Ironically, the monitor had just been returned from the manufacturer who evidently missed that small but important defect. Refreshingly at least, the manufacturer stated openly that "This is the first time one of our monitors has exploded, although there have been cases of the PC itself exploding.” Talk about TMI, where did this guy last work, Dunder Mifflin? (exploding computer monitor image via Engadget)


2) Exploding Office Chairs

Most of us have worked, rested and/or played while sitting on an airlift chair that is raised and lowered through the action of a small pressurized gas cylinder incorporated into the seat. A very small percentage of the former have been unfortunate enough to experience the sudden, violent explosion of the latter: at least 5 cases since 2007, one of them resulting in a fatality. Seems like Old Sparky has nuthin' on Old Boomy... it executes without the need to throw a switch. (exploding office chair images via Gizmodo and Sina News)


1) Exploding Coins

A 3-year-old boy in Fujian province experienced China's economic boom first hand, so to speak, when a 1-yuan (about 15 cents) coin exploded as he was using it to pay for rides at a local park. We've heard of getting some bang for your bucks but seriously... The lad was shocked and surprised but suffered no ill effects other than soot-stained fingers. Incredibly, this isn't the first case of exploding coins in China. "Next up, exploding notes. China, you can do it!,” exclaimed one of the country's online netizens, many who have reacted with predictable sarcasm, outrage and even glee. (exploding coins image via Tsunami Otaku Blog)



While unexpected explosions of any type, anywhere are no laughing matter, China seems to suffer from “guilt by association” most any time news of something exploding comes up. Surely shoddy manufacturing isn't all to blame – last time we checked, China doesn't build whales. Just keep that in mind next time something goes “boom” and everyone reflexively looks east. (title images via The Gopher Hole and Mondolithic Studios, above image via Izismile)

Feb 17, 2012
by dastnybill


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