Yup, the "Blanda blank" is lighting fires all on its own.

By Rebekah Lowin
June 22, 2017
Courtesy of IKEA

It’s a medium-sized piece of kitchenware—not too big, not too small. It’s made of stainless steel. It’s useful. It’s compact.

I mean, what else is there to say? It's...a bowl.

But apparently, for all its modest bowl-ness, Ikea’s “Blanda blank” is trouble. Big trouble.

Apparently, the metal bowl, which is still available for sale on the mega-popular furniture company's website as of this article's publication, has been settings things on fire. Throw something into it, and watch as it gets devoured by small flames. Crazy, right? It’s like something out of Harry Potter, only it’s real…and it happened to Richard Walter of Sweden.

According to Aftonbladet and The Local, Walter allegedly threw a bunch of grapes into the bowl over the weekend and witnessed their demise. (Why he decided that a not-that-small metal serving bowl was the perfect vessel for a bunch of grapes, we can't be sure. But we digress).

Here's how it went down, according to Walter: He simply took the grapes outside in the bowl, turned away for a moment and smelled smoke. When he turned back, the grapes were on fire. 

"I saw it was burning in the grape bowl. How is that possible, I thought," Walter told Aftonbladet in a translation provided by The Local. "Then I saw there was one intense point where (the sun) hit the twigs, and that's where it started."

But lest you think this was just one very, very peculiar case of simple-metal-bowl-gone-wrong, think again: Walter then went on to "test" different materials by throwing them into the bowl, just in case they, too, might catch fire and prove that it was the bowl, and not a few explosive grapes, that caused the fire.

Sure enough, after throwing in an innocent piece of paper into the empty bowl, Walter witnessed the smoking once again—and even filmed the results so his friends on Facebook would believe him.

Now, with the story picked up internationally, Ikea's got a lot more people to answer to than just Walter's friends and family, though.

As Ikea spokesperson Emil Eriksson initially told Aftonbladet, "We take this information very seriously and will now investigate what happened."

He then went on to add the following written note yesterday:

"Product safety is always a top priority at Ikea and Ikea products are always tested to comply with applicable standards and legislations. In risk assessment for the bowl Blanda it has been established that many different parameters would have to converge for the content of the bowl to overheat and that the risk for this to happen is very low. The round design of the bowl further contributes to a very low risk of spreading, in case of any overheated material in the bowl."

Well, we'll just be avoiding the bowl anyway...while we watch Walter's video on repeat.