Teens and attempting outrageous ways to torture and mutilate themselves for likes. Name a more iconic duo. There isn’t anything funnier than kids doing insane, painful internet challenges in an attempt for fifteen seconds of fame. At least, that is, until I have kids and a police officer shows up at my door to tell me my son died trying to swallow a thousand bees.
These challenges are so random it feels like someone is just pulling names of body parts and instruments of torture out of a hat and then daring people to combine them. Look at the names of some of these viral online trends: the boiling water challenge, the sandpaper toilet paper challenge, the fire challenge, the bathtub toaster challenge, the cinnamon challenge, the dead pose challenge, the mailman fistfight challenge, and cutting yourself for Bieber. And there are plenty of others.
(Fun fact: I made half of those challenges up and you couldn’t even tell. Next week one of them might be real though.)
The latest way for teens to destroy their bodies for the amusement of other teens on social media is called the ‘salt and ice challenge’. The quite lit albeit painful ordeal causes severe burns (oftentimes second-degree burns and third-degree burns), its injuries often require skin grafts and is a great way for a group of friends to be barred from hanging out with each other ever again by their parents.
The challenge is pretty much what its name suggests. Challenge participants put table salt on their own skin and then they take an ice cube or chunk of ice and press it against the salt and their skin. The following chemical reaction, caused by the temperature of the ice combined with the salt, is extremely painful. The goal is to see how long you can stand the nerve damage and third-degree burns. You lost long enough you get legend status (also some skin grafting).
Doctors have called this latest challenge basically turning your body into a chemistry lab. Obviously, it sounds bad that kids are doing chemistry experiments on their own skin but at this point, we might just have to accept that kids burning their nerve endings off or melting parts of their faces to get a hundred followers on Instagram is the only way we’ll get them to learn science.
This article was originally published on January 25, 2019.