Sunday, January 21, 2018
Bizarre News

Tide Pod Challenge: Why teens and internet celebs risk their lives by eating them

A new internet trend has parents worrying more about their teenagers ingesting laundry soap than their unknowing toddlers.

It started as a joke: memes circulating on the web, poking fun at the fact that the squishy, brightly colored laundry pods look strangely appetizing.

Some commented they looked like giant Gusher gummies, but, you know, instead of a sugary sweet filling they contain toxic soap.

So that’s why, to some, it was funny to see Tide Pods in pans on stove tops, Tide Pods in cereal bowls, Tide Pods served like pasta with a garnish on the side.

The juxtaposition, the fact you’re obviously not supposed to eat them because they could make you very ill, or die, is what made the images popular.

Then people started eating them as an internet dare. Now, they won’t stop — probably because it’s turned into an almost sure-fire way to get comments, likes, follows and views.

"Okay, I’m not really quite sure how to eat this," says YouTube personality Matthew Lush while holding one of the pods in a video posted on Dec. 31. "So I’m just going to salt it a little bit."

Yes, he really salts it. Yes, he really bites into it. You hear a "pop" as his teeth puncture the pod’s plastic sack. The soap oozes down his face. He expresses instant regret

He spits it out, screams.

"Nooooo," he squeals.

He’s racked up more than 150,000 views. A week later, Lush, who has nearly 1 million subscribers, posted a satire video cooking with Tide Pods. He made tacos.

Most the jokes surrounding the craze are self-aware. No one actually thinks Tide Pods taste good or are safe to consume. Yet the videos keep rolling in as teens and social media personalities vie to outdo each other.

Another video from a YouTuber, reacting to Lush eating the soapy pod, posted on Thursday already had nearly 400,000 views by Friday morning.

Since launching in 2012, Tide has told parents to keep the attractive pods, which can look like candies, out of reach of children.

In August, the company came out with a new child-resistant tub with secure lids to go along with the safety seal on pouches released the year before.

"Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the families who use our products," said Sundar Raman, North America Vice President of Fabric Care for P&G, in an August news release.

The pods are meant to be convenient — they’re an easy alternative for anyone used to lugging detergent jugs to the laundromat.

The National Capital Poison Center has an entire webpage dedicated to how harmful ingesting the pods can be.

Rose Ann Gould Soloway, a clinical toxicologist, wrote on the webpage that many of the children who have bitten into the pods have wound up in intensive care units.

Floridians should know of the dangers all too well. In 2013, a 7-month-old boy in Kissimmee died after ingesting an All brand detergent pod.

"Serious effects can occur quickly. They include severe vomiting, severe breathing trouble, burns to the esophagus, and coma," Soloway wrote. "The liquid from laundry pods also can cause burns to the eye and skin."

Tide has several videos and articles about keeping the pods out of reach of children. But none about keeping them out of the mouths of very aware teens and young adults who obviously know better.

"Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes and they’re used safely in millions of households every day," Tide said in a statement. "They should be only used to clean clothes and kept up, closed and away from children. They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if it is meant as a joke."

So, keep them out of your mouths, would ya?

Also, the Poison Control hotline is 1-800-222-1222.

Contact Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com. Follow @sara_dinatale.

Comments
Thanks Twitter: Fakesters pose as jackpot winner Shane Missler

Thanks Twitter: Fakesters pose as jackpot winner Shane Missler

Jackpot winner and Florida man Shane Missler wants to leave behind a legacy with his winnings.But he won’t be doing that by doling out cash to Twitter followers.PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Florida man, 20, claims $450M Mega Millions jackpotAn account cunningl...
Published: 01/16/18

Florida man robbed at gunpoint in dating app setup

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Florida police say a man thought he was going on a date set through an app, but instead was attacked and robbed at gunpoint.Police say a 21-year-old Taborice Lee Foster lured his target using Grindr, a dating app for gay men. When...
Published: 01/14/18
Tide Pod Challenge: Why teens and internet celebs risk their lives by eating them

Tide Pod Challenge: Why teens and internet celebs risk their lives by eating them

A new internet trend has parents worrying more about their teenagers ingesting laundry soap than their unknowing toddlers. It started as a joke: memes circulating on the web, poking fun at the fact that the squishy, brightly colored laundry pods loo...
Published: 01/12/18

Bathroom behavior got this Florida man kicked off his flight

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Frequent flyer tip: if you’re going to use the airplane bathroom make sure your aim is good. Otherwise it could get you kicked off the flight.Flight attendants say Dante Bencivenga used the bathroom on a Spirit airlines flight befo...
Published: 01/07/18
Florida man calls 911 to report...himself drunk driving

Florida man calls 911 to report...himself drunk driving

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) — Authorities in Florida are sharing an unusual 911 call they got on New Year’s Eve from a man who said he was driving drunk and needed police. Polk County Sheriff’s officials say the dispatcher "did a fantastic job" urging Mi...
Published: 01/06/18
A small bird managed to take over a Delta flight

A small bird managed to take over a Delta flight

On late Saturday morning, a bird flew out of the cold Detroit sky, across an airfield and into the cockpit of a jetliner bound south for Atlanta.Some believe it was a sparrow. Some, a hummingbird. A Delta Air Lines spokesman referred to it only as "s...
Updated one month ago
Woman gets $284 billion electric bill, wonders whether it’s her Christmas lights

Woman gets $284 billion electric bill, wonders whether it’s her Christmas lights

What can you buy with $284 billion?You could own all of Netflix. Or purchase 747 Boeing 747s, with change to spare. Or erase the national debts of Venezuela, Nigeria, Peru and Iceland, combined.Or, if you’re Mary Horomanski, you could pay for one mon...
Updated one month ago
Package for Steven Mnuchin that causes a bomb scare turns out to be filled with horse manure

Package for Steven Mnuchin that causes a bomb scare turns out to be filled with horse manure

A suspicious package that appeared Saturday night in the swanky Los Angeles neighborhood of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin prompted lengthy street closures and a sizable response by local and federal authorities, including members of the Los Angel...
Updated one month ago

Florida man fighting for his life after chasing monkey

DESTIN, Fla. — A Florida man now living in Bali is fighting for his life after he fell from a roof while chasing a monkey that had stolen his favorite Pittsburgh Steelers cap.The Northwest Florida Daily News reported that Jeff "Swede" Swedenhjelm fel...
Updated one month ago
Florida man arrested for calling 911 to complain about small restaurant portions

Florida man arrested for calling 911 to complain about small restaurant portions

STUART, Fla. — A Florida man complaining about his dinner to police has landed in trouble.The 51-year-old man was charged with misusing the emergency 911 line after he called dispatchers twice to complain about the size of the meal served to him at C...
Updated one month ago