Although organisms obey the same physical laws as inanimate objects the evolutionary implications of these laws are often neglected. Physical factors influence the fitness value of traits and play an important role in the course of evolution. These are the areas of investigation that interest us.
Citrus fruits like oranges house tiny pockets of oil in their peels. When squeezed, the oils jet out in tiny micro-jets that are about the width of a human hair. Despite their small size, the jets reach speeds of about 30 m/s and quickly break into a stream of droplets. When exposed to the flame of a lighter, like in the animation above, those microdroplets combust easily, creating a momentary fireball used to augment some cocktails. For more on how the citrus peel generates these jets, check out this previous post. (Image credit: Warped Perception, source; research credit: N. Smith et al.)