Explosions do not commonly occur in nature


General Theory

Explosion Catagories

Low Explosives

High Explosives



Affiliated Sites:




Noise IS Everything

Compiled Theory

Explosive "Paint"

This particular explosive paint detailed here is actually ammonium nitrogen tri-iodide. It can easily be prepared, but involves the use of pure iodine crystals. However, the result of this is fine powder that is non-reactive while wet, and can be "applied" as a paint. Once the solution evaporates, you have a fine coat of the crystal precipitate. This coating is contact sensitive, and extremely dangerous. A sharp gust of wind, a feather, pretty much any pressure will set it off. For those of you who followed this link looking for the...how shall we say it, user friendly explosive paint they had in Italian Job, this is not it, but it is quite similar.


Pure Iodine Crystals

This can be bought from a photograph store that stocks photo-developing chemicals. However, one should note that sadly, idodine crystals are a regulated chemical in the U.S. due to its use in methamphetamine producting. Any company or individual who sells idodine must identify the buyer and keep records, possibly reporting the activity to the DEA. If you live in the state of California, you are legally limited to 8 ounces in a 30 day period, and all records are kept regardless of amount. So, using common sense would be recommended, as you really aren't using the crystals to make methamphetamines.

For safety, these crystals will stain nearly everything. If it comes in contact with skin, it will make a dark stain that will not come off until the skin actually sheds. Keep it at room temperature, preferably cold, as if it gets too warm, it will vaporize. Do not breathe the vapors.

Ammonium Chloride

Household bleach. The clear type. Use a fresh bottle if possible, otherwise, use a new a bottle as possible. Remember, this is straight out the bottle, not diluted, so make sure there is enough ventilation. The strength of the explosive depends on how concentrated the ammonium chloride is, the stronger the concentration, the better (depending on your point of view).

Potassium Iodide

White powder used in photography, can be bought all over the internet or photography stores. Try to limit the contact with air as much as possible, as it can slowly degrade.

Sodium Thiosulfate

This is also a photography chemical, commonly known as "hypo." If you make a water solution of this chemical, it will remove iodide stains and also dissolve the explosive paint. Limit skin contact except to remove the stain, and even then wash it off immediately.


  1. Dissolve 1 gram of potassium iodide in 90 ml of ammonium hydroxide.
  2. Add 4 grams of pulverized iodine crystals.
  3. Precipitate should be forming, stir well until it appears like the reaction has finished
  4. Filter out the precipitate and store in an airtight container. Apply quickly and while still wet/moist.

This particular explosive is relatively unstable and decomposes after aproximately 24 hours, so a fresh batch works the best, both for safety and quality. Storing this is risky as there is a large chance that there will be some of the solution to touch the rim of the container and once it dries, it will be an unfortunate problem for whoever tries to use it.
Rinse all containers and filter paper after use with the sodium thiosulfate and dispose of it all as quickly as possible. Any residue that is left of the explosive will explode on contact as discussed earlier.

*Note: This explosive is extremely senstive and quite powerful. A small piece of it, such as the size of a pencil tip will make as loud an explosion as a cherry bomb or firecracker. Use this at your own risk.