Insane in Ukraine: Experiments with microwaving things OUTSIDE a microwave oven

insane in ukraine

In Luhansk, Ukraine, two guys — Aleksandr “Sasha” Kryukov, 32, and Pavel “Pasha” Pavlov — are getting lots of views on their YouTube channel thanks to their videos in which they’re microwaving things…outside a microwave oven.


At the heart of every microwave oven is a magnetron, which takes your ordinary household AC (alternating current) and turns it into a blast of electromagnetic energy vibrating at 2450 MHz, or about 2.5 billion times a second. Those vibrations, when pointing at things, especially things with some water content, cause their molecules to vibrate more, raising their temperature and cooking them.

magnetron 2

Inspired presumably by the twin demons of boredom and terror (Luhansk is in that part of Ukraine that Russia’s trying to annex), Kryukov and Pavlov decided to see what they could do if they took the magnetron out of a microwave and pointed it at things. After extracting a magnetron from a microwave oven, they fashioned a crude waveguide out of a coffee can so that they could direct the energy emitted from it:

magnetron 3

Here’s what their jury-rigged gadget looks like when you stare down its “barrel”:

magnetron 4

Of course, the magnetron doesn’t work without a power supply, and there’s a perfectly good one inside the microwave from whence it came. Here’s their completed rig, ready for microwave hijinks:

magnetron 5

With their warranty-voiding gizmo assembled, it was time to perform experiments. It generates a strong enough electromagnetic field to light up vaccuum tubes by merely pointing it at them:

ligthing up tubes

Click the photo to see it at full size.

Here’s what the videocamera image looks like when you’re not blasting it with microwaves:

microwave camera 1

Here’s what it looks like when you are. It’s not good for the video image, and it’s probably not good for either the camera or the camera operator:

microwave camera 2

Point it at a ghetto blaster for a moment, and the you’ll hear the buzz of electromagnetic interference…

nuking the boom box 1

Click the photo to see it at full size.

…do it for a little longer, and you’ll hear the boom of electromagnetic cooking:

nuking the boom box 2

Click the photo to see it at full size.

They try all sorts of experiments with their microwave gun, including pointing it at a large bulb. The microwave energy charges the gas in the bulb, which makes it possible to “see” the radio waves that the gun emits0:

microwave bulb

Click the photo to see it at full size.

To get the full experience, you should watch their videos below and check out their YouTube channel. To find out more about this crazy Ukrainian duo, see this New York Times piece on them from July.

Here’s the video that’s getting a lot of views as of this writing:

Be sure to check out this follow-up video. There’s an interesting moment starting at the 1:14 mark — in the background, you can hear a plane doing a bombing run:

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