China’s ‘Stink-Raising Water’ Craze Sees Children Creating the Smelliest Potions Possible

There is a bizarre craze sweeping China’s primary and secondary schools. Students are adding all sorts of smelly ingredients to plastic bottles to create the stinkiest recipes possible.

Chinese media recently reported multiple incidents involving bottles of foul-smelling water created by young school students using online recipes. Apparently, they were related to a strange craze where students add all sorts of disgusting ingredients to a plastic bottle of water and let the mix ferment to create the stinkiest concoction possible. They write the recipe on the bottle, and if stinky enough, share it online so that other can take the experiment even further. It has been dubbed the “stink-raising water” craze and education authorities are scrambling to prevent it from becoming even more popular, as experts believe it puts public health at risk.

Last week, Headline News posted an article about an incident involving three 5th-grade students. One of them reportedly found a recipe for stinky water on social media and convinced two other friends to replicate it. It’s unclear what ingredients they used, but the online instructions apparently said that it had to be hung outside the classroom window, in direct sunlight, for several days. When the plastic bottle looked like it was about to burst from the inner pressure caused by fermentation, the three boys decided to take it to the schoolyard to show it off, but the bottle exploded on the way there, covering them from head to toe, getting into their mouths and causing them to throw up on the spot.

Another video that has been doing the rounds online shows an entire classroom covered in the contents of a stink water bottle. The details of the incident are unclear, but the caption mentions that the entire class had been covered in a disgusting mixture after a stink-raising water bottle exploded during courses. At least a dozen students threw up during the incident, computers were damaged by the foul liquid and the class was unusable for several days because of the foul odor.

According to Chinese media, ingredients used by young students to create stink water include saliva, milk, cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, rat tails, raw pork, and hand cream, as well as all sorts of expired liquids. Li Tongzeng, chief physician of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Beijing You’an Hospital warned that it is precisely because everyone uses different ingredients that makes it hard to estimate just how toxic or poisonous these concoctions can be.

Tongzeng pointed out that the ammonia, formaldehyde, and hydrogen sulfide produced during fermentation can cause poisoning, affect respiratory function, gastrointestinal discomfort, dizziness, or even damage the central nervous system. Furthermore, dead insects and animals are full of dangerous bacteria and their number grows during fermentation.


Photos of stink-raising water bottles complete with labels detailing the exact ingredients have been circulating on Chinese social media for weeks, but authorities are struggling to ensure that the stinky craze doesn’t grow in popularity.

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