What is TikTok's Whoosh Bottle Experiment? Explaining viral trend as 12-year-old severely burns himself attempting the challenge

The Whoosh Bottle Experiment has gone viral on Tiktok (Images via Tiktok)
The Whoosh Bottle Experiment has gone viral on Tiktok (Images via Tiktok)

A new viral Tiktok challenge based on the Whoosh Bottle Experiment has landed a 12-year-old boy in the hospital with severe burns. The scientific experiment has been a standard part of lab alcohol density demonstration. However, TikTok users have somehow created a challenge out of it.

The young user of the app tried to participate in the viral challenge. However, things quickly took a turn as the flames engulfed him, causing severe injuries. The child, a resident of East Haven, was admitted to Bridgeport Hospital Burn Center in Connecticut.

Given the incident, the local fire department has scheduled a safety demonstration at East Haven Public School to warn students and faculty about the dangers of attempting unsupervised social media challenges.

What is the Whoosh Bottle Experiment?

The Whoosh Bottle Experiment is designed to demonstrate energy released from a mixture of alcohol and air in the form of combustion. Performing the experiment requires a five-gallon water bottle with a narrow neck, alcohol, and a fire source.

A small amount of alcohol is poured into the bottle, then shut and shaken vigorously. When a burning flint is introduced to the open narrow cavity of the bottle, it results in high-speed combustion. This combustion makes a loud whoosh sound, thus giving the experiment its name.

The experiment is a very volatile demonstration and requires necessary safety measures first.

This viral challenge is hazardous to perform

The "Whoosh bottle Experiment" has recently become popular on Tiktok. This was the first instance of someone being seriously hurt because of performing the challenge. The victim was initially taken to Yale Children's Hospital. However, the seriousness of the burns required specialized care. Hence, he was transferred to Bridgeport Hospital Burn Center.

In an interview with News 8, Fire Chief Matt Marcarelli outlined the dangers of this experiment. He said:

“This could easily have led to a fatality as well as a major fire in the house. Alcohol is a volatile flammable liquid and can act as an accelerant.”

Authorities are now questioning Tiktok officials, asking why such challenges are being spread on the app. In a statement, Tiktok, which has time and again promised the removal of harmful content from the platform, said:

“We understand that this school science experiment can be done safely with proper precautions, but videos without visible safety measures will be removed from our platform. We also work to add caution labels to videos performed in a controlled setting, though they are ineligible for recommendation into people’s For You feeds.”

Meanwhile, the East Haven Fire Department advised parents to speak to their children about avoiding the Whoosh Bottle Experiment and underscore the dangers of playing with fire.

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Edited by Srijan Sen