Watch Slow-Mo Footage of 300-Year-Old French Grenades (VIDEOS)

Watch this slow-motion footage from Vision Research of a 300-year-old grenade showing a couple of wood targets who’s in charge.

Where did they get a 300-year-old grenade, exactly? It came from the wreckage of a 17th century ship, La Belle. Back in 1684, French explorer Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, led four ships on a journey that would (theoretically) take them to the mouth of the Mississippi River. The plan was to establish French colonies along the Gulf of Mexico, but considering the fact that La Belle ended up on the sea floor we’ll let you guess how well that plan went.

Just a little more than 300 years later, archaeologists discovered the wreckage and started to excavate the ship. They found a few goodies, including tons of musket shot and three bronze cannons. What was most interesting, though, were the “fire pots,” ceramic pots full of degraded gun powder and an iron grenade. These were one of the world’s earliest handgrenades, a device that was only ever mentioned once in historical records.

So, the obvious thing to do was to test them out and see just how explosive French grenades from 1684 actually were. They trained some high-speed cameras on the ancient explosives and these are the results.

Who knew that such a thing existed in the 1600s?

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