It's a scene straight from a teenage action movie: a huge truck catches fire. The driver rushes to detach the trailer before the inevitable happens – a huge explosion, scattering debris in every direction. Awe-stricken spectators look on in horror as the sky fills with flames and the unmistakable smell of... high school locker rooms?
But that's exactly what happened last week, when an 18-wheeler truck driving through a section of Interstate 35 in central Texas exploded after its cargo – compressed containers of freshman favorite Axe body spray – ignited.
Noticing the fire in his rear window, the driver pulled over to the side of the road and detached the trailer with the help of nearby motorists – and just in time. The trailer exploded, launching the cans across the surrounding area and creating a huge fire that forced the highway to shut down for over eight hours.
Despite the cans exploding near residential areas of the city of Belton, nobody was injured in the incident – but many people hung around to catch the impressive blaze and its eerie popcorn soundtrack on camera.
Now, Axe, which goes by the name Lynx in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and China, has something of a reputation, both for its distinctive ad campaigns and for constituting a good 42 percent of the atmosphere inside high school classrooms. So, naturally, people had a few things to say when they heard the news.
It turns out the inferno has offered youngsters across the country an important learning experience – not just on the explosive nature of hot aerosol cans, but also on just how far you can trust commercials if they suggest they'll turn you into some kind of supermodel magnet.
Scientists have long suspected that our sense of smell has a strong connection with our memory recall, and for some tweeters, the news took them right back to their own school days.
But, for others, no amount of misty-eyed nostalgia was enough to counteract their feelings on the trademark scent.
Transportation workers at the scene told local news outlet Temple Daily Telegram that the explosion had been powerful enough to damage the road, turning it to the consistency of gravel. Local reporter Nohely Mendoza tweeted a photo of melted cans embedded in the freeway.
But, despite their ordeal, you'll be relieved – or not – to know that there were at least some survivors of the Great Axeplosion of 2018.
For more tales of things exploding when they shouldn't, click here to read about the mystery rocket launch that couldn't – or here to find out why some e-cigarettes have proven more deadly than their old-fashioned counterparts.