The Olympic cauldron will be dismantled during the London closing ceremony and each of the 204 copper 'petals' that make it up will be given to the competing nations to take home.
Thomas Heatherwick, the creator of the cauldron, said he had not wanted to try to make it bigger and taller than those at previous Games.
Heatherwick told a news conference: "We were aware cauldrons had been getting bigger, higher, fatter as each Olympics happened and we felt we shouldn't try to be even bigger than the last ones.
"This incredible event has 204 nations coming together, so we had a child from each country bringing these copper polished objects in.
"At the end of the Games this cauldron will dismantle itself and radiate back down to the ground and each of those copper pieces taken away by each nation and put in a national Olympic cabinet somewhere."