In seventh-century China, fireworks were invented and used to ward away evil spirits with colorful fire. The ancient Chinese book Classified Essentials of the Mysterious Tao of the True Origins of Things, dated 850 AD, describes how the devices often caused more harm than good: "Some have heated together sulfur, realgar and saltpeter with honey; smoke and flames result, so that their hands and faces have been burnt, and even the whole house where they were working burned down."
As technology advanced, so did our love of pyrotechnic spectacle. A great fireworks show can be a sublime experience. But like the ancient Chinese, we continue to accidentally misuse the explosive arts, and thanks to the innovation of modern handheld video recording devices (perhaps second to fireworks), we can also marvel at exploding displays that go horribly wrong. These are some of the wildest.