People are burning themselves throwing boiling water into the air in cold weather.

OK America, You Can Stop Throwing Pots of Boiling Water Into the Air Now

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Jan. 7 2014 12:33 PM

OK America, You Can Stop Throwing Pots of Boiling Water Into the Air Now

Holthaus boling water snow video
Don't try this at home.

Screenshot / YouTube

On Monday, meteorologist Eric Holthaus demonstrated just how cold it was at his home in Viroqua, Wis., by tossing a pot of boiling water into the air—and watching it drift back down as snow. In retrospect, perhaps he—and I, when I wrote about the stunt—should have added a disclaimer: Don’t try this at home. Or, if you must, at least stand upwind of the direction in which you’re tossing the boiling water.

As my post and others on Holthaus’s video spread around the Internet yesterday, the Los Angeles Times’ Matt Pearce began to notice a disturbing trend on Twitter: People around the country were trying the experiment in their own back yards—and burning the crap out of themselves.

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BuzzFeed’s Adrian Carrasquillo has a roundup of the victims and three words of sage advice: “Everyone, please stop.”  

Previously in Slate:

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer. Email him at will.oremus@slate.com or follow him on Twitter.

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