WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- A new challenge which involves throwing boiling water into supercold air and watching it instantly freeze in mid-air has gone viral on social media, but at a price.
Hashtagged "Boiling Water Challenge", this popular "winter experiment" which has dominated Twitter and Instagram in the past few weeks as the polar vortex gripped large parts of the United States, is also sending people to emergency wards.
So far eight people have been hospitalized at the burn center of Chicago's Loyola University Medical Center because of having "thrown caution to the wind," center spokeswoman Chris Vicik said.
They had frostbite injuries to their "feet, arms, hands, face, with varying degrees of burns" she said.
The spectacular frosty mist, as shown in tweets by successful challengers, is tempting to try, but don't get tricked. Looking good does not mean it is "safe" to perform since "factors such as wind, gravity, the force of throwing are all at play," doctors warned.
Nor does it mean bystanders are safe. A toss of hot water can easily end up back in your face or in others' faces, whether by accident or simply out of pranks.
And even if they don't get scalded, people could also risk suffering a frostbite with sprayed water rapidly freezing on their exposed skin, doctors added.