The future is looking bleaker every day. A new TikTok challenge has teenagers getting seriously injured as they try to eat a dessert doused in liquid nitrogen. Popularly known as “Dragon’s Breath,” the idea is that the white vapor looks “cool” as you gobble down the freezing treat. But many kids are ending up in the hospital.
TikTok Challenge Has Kids Eating Dragon’s Breath, a Treat Doused in -320 Degree Liquid Nitrogen
The entire trend started after kids in Indonesia started filming themselves eating chiki ngebul. It’s a candy dipped in liquid nitrogen, which is nitrogen that is kept at a temperature of 320 Fahrenheit degrees below zero, or 196 Celcius degrees below zero. That’s really cold.
Chiki ngebul is primarily a street food, meaning that street vendors sell it. Apparently, Indonesia doesn’t have the strictest food safety laws in place. The government’s health ministry has issued a warning against selling or ingesting the candy after at least 25 children have been seriously injured.
Viral TikTok videos show kids gobbling up the treats as a challenge. Meanwhile, white tendrils of smokey vapor leak out their noses and mouths. One video with over 60,000 views shows a toddler inhaling the liquid nitrogen from the treat.
Doctors Are Trying to Spread the Word: Don’t Eat Liquid Nitrogen
Indonesian Doctor Dicky Budiman, a researcher of global health security at Griffith University, told The Guardian that street food vendors have easy access to liquid nitrogen. But they don’t have proper training in using it.
“Maybe now it’s decreasing [in price] and not only easier to access but also the number of new businesses using this liquid nitrogen is also increasing” said Budiman.
Budiman said that eating foods doused in liquid nitrogen before the nitrogen evaporates can burn and perforate a person’s intestines. It can also kill them.
That sounds painful.
In addition to issuing warnings about serving liquid nitrogen foods, the Indonesian health ministry has also asked schools to step in. They want help teaching kids about what can happen if you eat Dragon’s Breath.
So far, no kids have reportedly died. But two have been hospitalized and more are suspected to have gotten hurt from the TikTok challenge.