So, just an idea pitch. The bombardier beetle utilizes the reaction of two chemicals to create a nearly 100 °C liquid that's sprayed in the face of its enemies. How that doesn't damage the beetle? I place my bet on the Leidenfrost effect.

But, can a living creature "do better"? More precisely, I'm looking for chemicals that could replace hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide and when mixed together, produce more heat and higher temperatures.

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    $\begingroup$ I think the species you are looking for is called "homo terroristicus" $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Mar 29, 2020 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ Hypergolic mixtures, like nitrogen tetroxide and hydrazine compounds. Work well for silicon-based spherical insects in vacuum. I hear NASA uses them frequently; the hypergolic mixtures, I mean, not the insects. $\endgroup$ Mar 29, 2020 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ @AdrianColomitchi True, but NASA has the luxury of refined metal containers that are resistant to high-powered oxidizers. Insects don't tend to have those, at least the last time I looked at the literature. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Mar 29, 2020 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


Ultimately, there's nothing to stop organisms from producing the equivalent of nitroglycerine or gun cotton as an enzymatic process, and using explosives either to shoot pebbles, secreted pellets, or even small exploding balls of some sort of hard material that then explodes. The creature would be deadly, but also incredibly valuable and the basis of some very adventurous hunting.


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