Candle Fire Resets My Electronics. WAT?! 🔥🕯

Mystery: Lighting a Candle Next To My T-Rex Game Causes It To Reset

Today, Ariella Eliassaf lit a candle next to our In-Real-Life Chrome T-Rex Game, when suddenly she heard a beep indicating that the game was reset. She called me and we managed to reproduce this strange behavior:

We built a real-life version of Chrome’s infamous “No Internet” game, and presented it in the Chrome Dev Summit last year.

Some months ago, we moved to a new home, and put the game on display in our living room. I then modified the firmware’s JavaScript code, turning the game into a decorative clock:

The code has been running for months since, without a single problem or unexpected reset. Well, at least until Ariella lit the candle next to it. After reproducing this strange behavior several times, I also tried touching the surface of the game to see if it got hot — but it didn’t even feel warm.

T-Rex, are you afraid of the fire?

As you can see in the video, this happens less than one second after we light the fire — and the fire is not even close to the electronics, as you can see in the diagram below:

The fire is pretty far from the electronics, and there is also a 3mm-thick acrylic plate in front of it

Why this happens is still a mystery for us, so we would love to hear your ideas. Looking forward to reading your comments!

Update: Guy Sheffer has pointed out a similar issue with the Raspberry Pi 2 being camera-shy: It would reset when you point a xenon flash at it. Technology is always full of surprises 🤯


This is the 20th post in my Postober Challenge — writing something new every single day throughout October.

I will tweet whenever I publish a new post, promise! ✍