Much like a delicious meal, domino shows take a very long time to prepare and are finished in the blink of an eye. But (also like a delicious meal) the payoff is often worth it—few things are as satisfying as watching a line of dominoes collapse. To that end, we've compiled some of the more elaborate and unique chain reactions out there for your enjoyment.
1. A very tall tower
The Guinness World Record for highest domino structure belongs to builders Michael Hoermann and Philipp Zimmermann. The duo used two cranes, 8044 dominoes, and a lot of patience to build a 10-meter-tall tower. Their first attempt boasted a whopping 18,000 domino pieces, but the structure toppled prematurely and the team had to start over.
2. Starry night
It took 7000 dominoes and 11 hours to create, but in the end, YouTube user FlippyCat created a masterpiece. Or at least, the domino version of van Gogh's masterpiece, Starry Night.
3. The largest pyramid
German builder Kevin Pöhls successfully built the largest domino 3D pyramid in the world, but not before knocking over his first attempt, comprised of 14,000 pieces. The final product included an impressive 15,022 pieces.
4. A variety of tricks
YouTube users Hevesh5 and Millionendollarboy combined efforts to create a compilation of domino tricks. They include extra materials, including marbles, popsicle sticks, and masking tape, to create a truly novel spectacle.
5. Musical dominoes
A-Trak and Tommy Trash’s music video for Tuna Melt puts the mesmerizing power of dominoes to work. The pieces, which get mixed in with toast, fall throughout an apartment in elaborate set-ups.
6. The Simpsons
YouTube user BerserkerBerlin created an impressive compilation of domino mosaics featuring the entire Simpsons family.
7. Rainbows and cartoons characters
Another video supplied by YouTube user Hevesh5: The artist, along with ShanesDominoez, SuperMarMarMan1, and Builder Bros, created this impressive set-up for the Brattleboro Museum & Arts Center. The team placed the 30,000 pieces in just two days.
8. The most domino pieces fallen
From 1998 to 2009, Endemol Netherlands held Domino Day, during which teams came together to break the Guinness World Record for most dominoes toppled by a group. The event was televised and almost always successful (2007 was a failure). The last attempt knocked down more than 4,491,863 pieces, and is still the record holder today.
9. Dominoes throughout the year
Sinners Domino Entertainment created a complex labyrinth of dominoes that managed to break three Guinness World Records, including most dominoes toppled underwater by a team. Various mosaics and props represent the holidays and seasons in a year (a ghost for Halloween, a beach ball for summer, etc). In total, 472,209 pieces were knocked over.
10. Comics and cartoons
This themed event took a week to prepare and two days to clean up. There were 155,555 pieces set up in total.
11. Giant outdoor dominoes
Station House Opera kickstarted the 2013 Metropolis Festival with 7000 breeze blocks falling through Copenhagen for almost two miles. The giant blocks were placed on streets, sidewalks, and in locations such as the National Museum, Copenhagen Cathedral, and the town hall.
12. The domino effect
A domino can knock over another domino about one-and-a-half to two times its size. University of Toronto’s Professor Stephen Morris demonstrates how a tiny domino can knock over a much larger piece via chain reaction.
BONUS: Popsicle sticks
Dominoes aren't the only material you can use to create an entertaining chain reaction. By weaving popsicle sticks together, you create a tension in the wood. Releasing the weave converts the sticks' potential energy into kinetic energy, making them burst apart.