Don't try this at home: Many suffer burns from 'boiling water trick'


While most Minnesotans were stuck inside during dangerously cold temperatures this week, many were seeking to make light of a dismal situation.

From watching wet T-shirts freeze solid to watermelon bowling, Minnesotans are somewhat familiar with cold-weather experiments.

One popular idea when temperatures drop to 20 below involves a pot of boiling water: toss the water in the air and watch it freeze.

But this week, the gimmick sent several people in the U.S. to the hospital for burns.

The Los Angeles Times counted at least 50 people just on social media who said they burned themselves or their friends after attempting to turn water into snow.

A woman in Sioux Falls who also attempted the trick slipped and fell as she was throwing the water in the air, causing first- and second-degree burns along her neck and back.

The L.A. Times suggests the media should take some of the blame. The newspaper points out many reporters and meteorologists often demonstrate the trick on live television without disclaimers and viewers attempt to recreate it.

Home videos of the experiment flooded social media during the cold snap, some with successful attempts and others not so much.

WCCO's Jason DeRusha was called out by both the L.A. Times and Buzzfeed for encouraging those in the Twittersphere to give the trick a try.

And then offered an apology.

Slate followed up with an article offering sound advice in the headline: "OK America, You Can Stop Throwing Pots of Boiling Water Into the Air Now."

The arctic conditions in Minnesota also got the attention of Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, who poked fun at a local report involving a frozen banana.

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