Few fluid phenomena are as beautiful, fragile and ephemeral as the crown splash that is created by the impact of an object on a liquid. The crown-shaped phenomenon and the physics behind it have mesmerised and intrigued scientists for over a century, and still the scientific world has not yet uncovered all of the secrets of the splash. This is exemplified in a particularly striking manner in Marston et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 794, 2016, pp. 506–529) where a 6 m tall vacuum chamber is employed to study the splash formed upon impact of a sphere onto a deep liquid pool, at both atmospheric and reduced ambient pressures. They shed light into the classical problem of the surface seal and study the buckling of the splash. With an almost magical touch they devise a method to create a splash without the liquid and the sphere ever coming into contact. The images that accompany the paper – taken with state-of-the-art high-speed cameras – are as stunning as the physics that is uncovered in them.