Viral challenges have been circulating for a while now. They consist of anything from eating a spoonful of cinnamon to inhaling a condom and have been quite popular with teenagers. Thanks to the internet, videos of the challenges have been shared widely, prompting more and more people to try them.
Unfortunately, many of these challenges are incredibly dangerous and can even be deadly, but that hasn’t stopped their popularity. The latest “salt and ice challenge” is no different and those who attempt it are actually inflicting painful and permanent damage to their bodies.
The salt and ice challenge consists of a person placing salt on a small area of their body, usually the forearm, and then placing an ice cube on top. It sounds simple and harmless, but it is anything but.
For now, check out the video below to see the salt and ice challenge for yourself. Don’t be an idiot, though. Do not try this at home! Leave your skin alone and use the salt and ice for making margaritas, instead.
The Ice and Salt Challenge:
Normally, an ice cube would melt when held against someone’s skin. It would be cold, but not cold enough to cause frostbite. However, adding salt causes a eutectic frigorific mixture to be produced.
This is basically a substance created from two components mixed together that has an equilibrium temperature which differs from either component before mixing.
In other words, placing an ice cube on your skin won’t freeze it or cause any pain. The cube will melt from the heat of your body before any damage was done.
But mixing the ice cube with the salt causes this eutectic frigorific mixture to be produced, which then allows the contact area with the skin to reach temperatures as low as -18 degrees Celsius. This can definitely cause injuries similar to frostbite or severe burns, leaving open, painful sores on the skin.
Pediatrician, Dr. Brian Wagers, spoke to VT about the challenge. “It turns [the skin] to leather, essentially,” he said. “So you lose the blood vessels that are in there. You lose sensation, because of the nerve endings… You’d never have hair if you did it on your arms. So, you’ll have a bald patch.”
So attempting this challenge no only brings pain, open wounds, and scars, but also lasting nerve damage and bald spots. Seriously, why are people trying this? It just might be the dumbest viral challenge yet!
People who attempt this challenge will forever have scars and have to explain to others how they got them. It’s going to be quite embarrassing to explain to a future partner, employer, or well, anyone, who’s a mature, rational adult.
Not only that, but how exactly does one win this challenge? With the condom snorting challenge, the goal was to inhale one through the nose and pull it out of the mouth. In the cinnamon challenge, one was supposed to swallow an entire spoonful of cinnamon.
But in the salt and ice challenge, there is no goal. No one is going to keep the ice on long enough to burn a hole through their body. So what is the point other than to inflict pain on yourself?
At the very least, this challenge is less deadly than some others.
An if you thought this was stupid – remember the “Hot Coil Challenge”?
People have died from choking to death on the condom challenge, and lungs have been collapsed from inhaling the cinnamon. Not to mention other viral challenges – such as the choking game – which have certainly claimed their share of lives.
Perhaps it’s time we went back to internet sensations like the Harlem Shake, planking, the ALS ice bucket challenge, or even breading. These were fun, safe, and certainly created their own frenzy of viral internet success.