A metal worker responded to the viral “jet fuel can’t melt steel beams” meme with a YouTube video.
“If you hold this up as a reason for conspiracy, you are an idiot,” he said.
The “jet fuel can’t melt steel beams” comment was made often by “truthers” who believe the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks were an “inside job” perpetrated by the U.S. government, but the statement has been turned into an ironic meme in recent years. The theory claims that an airplane crash would not have brought down the World Trade Center buildings because the steel infrastructure of the towers wouldn’t have melted due to the burning jet fuel.
But the assertion has been proven false a number of times by a variety of sources, namely in a Popular Mechanics article from 2010.
“However, experts agree that for the towers to collapse, their steel frames didn’t need to melt, they just had to lose some of their structural strength—and that required exposure to much less heat,” the article states, seemingly reflecting the YouTube uploader’s findings.
Burning jet fuel is not hot enough to melt steel, it added, but it’s more than enough to weaken steel, which could take down a skyscraper.
“I have never seen melted steel in a building fire,” said retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn in the article. “But I’ve seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks.”
The “jet fuel can’t melt steel beams” meme likely originated on 4chan’s politically incorrect board, referring to the 9/11 conspiracy theories and is used to mock truthers. Here is one of the more common variants that has appeared on 4chan, Reddit, and Twitter: