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Name That Shell
by Lexi Krock

How many times have you driven home from a fabulous fireworks display and tried in vain to describe your favorite variety? "You know, that big red one with all those curlycue things?" Lacking names of specific types, you gesticulate wildly, describing the color, pattern, even the way it moved against the sky. But soon, defeated, you let your voice trail off and your hands drop into your lap, leaving your companions looking at you quizzically.

In this feature, familiarize yourself with the names of 18 popular firework varieties. Then test your newfound knowledge while you view six video clips from fireworks displays. Try to identify as many varieties in each clip as you can and then check your answers against our list. As you go, keep in mind that not all of the 18 varieties presented below will appear in the clips. Also, focus on the patterns of the fireworks rather than the colors, since some of the colors will be different in the clips than they are in the photographs.

Lexi Krock is editorial assistant of NOVA Online.

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Name That Shell | Anatomy of a Firework | Pyrotechnically Speaking | On Fire
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