Star Trek has been more than a pop culture phenomenon; it's actually influenced technology and science, making what was once science fiction, science fact. While warp drive technology and the transporter aren't around to change our lives yet, today's smartphones can do more than Captain Kirk's communicator. There's even a working tricorder being developed.
But until now, nobody has actually made a Star Trek-like device that looks just like the ones from the classic 1960s TV series. An unidentified garage mechanic decided to change that by building a working Trek phaser -- one that emits enough heat that it can actually pop a balloon at a distance.
The technology isn't rocket science but that doesn't make this working phaser any less remarkable. The phaser is really a blue laser device, like the ones used by blu-ray players. Blue lasers emit a more cohesive laser and can cause eye damage if they impact a person's retina. When shot at the surface of a blown-up balloon, the minute amount of heat that's generated on the impact zone is sufficient to burst the plastic. That's the science behind how this phaser works, but what it really does is look freakin' cool!
Check out the phaser below. Since the blue laser is inside the official Star Trek toy prop that anyone can buy, it actually makes the same sound effect like the phaser on the TV series.