The 'Hot Water Challenge' Is Back, and It’s Still Super Dangerous

Different forms of this challenge have been popping up since at least 2016.

by Josie Rhodes Cook

It’s back: a frankly pretty stupid prank known as the “Hot Water Challenge” has returned, and it’s just as dangerous as ever.

In Indiana, a 15-year-old boy named Kyland Clark was left with severe burns in mid-July when a friend poured scalding water on him as a joke after he had fallen asleep, Fox-affiliate WXIN reported on July 26. And why would Clark’s friend decide to pull such a prank? Because the boys had reportedly been looking up the “Hot Water Challenge” on YouTube together before Clark went to sleep.

The “Hot Water Challenge” involves either pouring boiling water on someone or drinking boiling water through a straw instead, according to Forbes. And either method is very, very dangerous.

What Is the “Hot Water Challenge”?

In one version of the challenge, you either pour boiling water on someone or have it poured on you. In the other version, you drink boiling hot water through a straw or challenge someone else to do it.

It’s unclear why anyone would think this is a good idea, but for some reason, this is one internet challenge that just will not die.

How Did The Challenge Start?

Earliest reports of the “hot water challenge” seem to indicate that it first popped up on YouTube in 2016. But it became popular in 2017, and has now, for some inexplicable reason, gone viral yet again.

In August 2017, an 8-year-old girl named Ki’ari Pope died as a result of injuries she endured after she was challenged to drink boiling water through a straw. And in August of that same year, Jamoneisha Merritt, an 11-year-old girl from the Bronx, was burned on over 85 percent of her body after boiling water was poured on her at a sleepover, the Epoch Times reported at the time.

It’s not entirely clear who first started this challenge, or why it began in the first place. But it’s been popular among kids for at least two summers now.

Why Is The Challenge So Dangerous?

Hot liquids, like boiling water, can cause life-threatening burns, according to the Burn Foundation, and once tap water reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit, it can cause a third-degree burn in just five seconds.

In the case of Pope, she died months after she was first challenged to drink boiling water, after she was admitted to the hospital for breathing problems, according to an ABC Action News video on YouTube.

These challenges can lead to severe injuries and even death from complications. Seriously, do not try this at home.

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