Humans staring into fire: Why people like flames and campfires (VIDEO).

Why Do People Like to Stare Into Campfires?

Why Do People Like to Stare Into Campfires?

The state of the universe.
July 21 2015 12:05 PM

Catching Fire

Why do we love to stare into open flames?

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VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images

Children tend to be in fire’s thrall for years when they first experience it, drawn to it in ways that make parents shudder. As many as 75 percent of children engage in “fire play,” often up to age 12. In other words, we were all little firebugs at one point in our young lives. Why is that? At least one study argues that our fascination with flames is directly tied to our ability to master them.

Paca Thomas is a regular video contributor to Slate.