In case you need to start a blazing inferno and just so happen to have a large supply of ping pong balls, proceed to light them in a safe area. That’s right, the most common type of ping pong balls are made of celluloid, a transparent flammable plastic made in sheets from camphor and nitrocellulose. Continue reading for a video and more information.

The international rules specify that the game is played with a light 2.7 gram, 40 mm diameter ball. The rules say that the ball shall bounce up 24-26 cm when dropped from a height of 30.5 cm on to a standard steel block thereby having a coefficient of restitution of 0.89 to 0.92. The 40 mm ball was introduced after the 2000 Olympic Games.

A 40 mm table tennis ball is slower and spins less than the original 38 mm (1.5 inch) one. The ball is made of a high-bouncing air-filled celluloid or similar plastics material, colored white or orange, with a matte finish. The choice of ball color is made according to the table color and its surroundings. For example, a white ball is easier to see on a green or blue table than it is on a gray table.