Popular Science

We love fireworks because they scare us

Our brains enjoy fear, but only in small, controlled doses.

Exploding light sparks fright in our brains—but we love it.

On the Fourth of July, skies will be ablaze with exploding art. Our souls will swell with splendor as we watch thousands of fireworks burst in the night, shooting up like hot comets then fanning out into brilliant umbrellas of twinkling light.

There’s no question that we humans love fireworks. Some of us have to the face and hands attempting to set them of fireworks erupted, generating $1.2 billion in revenue, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association.

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