Nintendo Switch game cartridges apparently taste horrendous on purpose

What adult first thought to lick their Switch cartridge? Don't know, but turns out it's a bad idea.
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The new Nintendo Switch console came out Friday – and one of the things people have noticed is how freaking terrible the game cartridges taste.

This Giantbomb writer, Jeff Gertsmann, seems to be the first person who noticed, tweeting: "I'm not sure what those things are made of but I can still taste it. Do not try this at home."

Since then, video taste tests have kind of turned into a thing. Here's one with Irish people licking them:

It's been described as "like insecticide," dental cleaning chemicals hitting your tongue, and having your mouth "assaulted by a harsh bitterness that spreads like a brush fire."

Turns out, this wasn't an accident.

Nintendo sent statements to Polygon, Kotaku and others explaining the cartridges are coated in Denatonium Benzoate – which is non-toxic, but tastes super bitter. It's to help avoid young children accidentally eating or swallowing the cartridges. Because they are very small.

Check out more about the chemical over at Chemistry World – it was created accidentally in the 1950s, and it's known as maybe the most bitter substance in the world. Even just a small amount does the job. So it's common for products that kids could ingest to get a little bit of Denatonium Benzoate added to them.

But it's also put in nail polish (to deter people chewing their nails with the paint on), and substances that include alcohol that aren't for drinking (like cleaners).

This story is part of our Best of the Web section – which is just cool stuff we find online and want to share with you.

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