As Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano continues to gush lava and toxic gases, the U.S. Geological Survey is warning people to not roast marshmallows over active volcanoes after a man tweeted the governmental agency asking whether or not it was safe to do so. Not only will the treat taste like trash, but it could also seriously poison you.
“@USGSVolcanoes Is it safe to roast marshmallows over volcanic vents? Assuming you had a long enough stick, that is? Or would the resulting marshmallows be poisonous?” Vermont resident @jayfurr asked.
“Erm… we’re going to have to say no, that’s not safe. (Please don’t try!) If the vent is emitting a lot of SO2 [sulfur dioxide] or H2S [hydrogen sulfide], they would taste BAD. And if you add sulfuric acid (in vog, for example) to sugar, you get a pretty spectacular reaction,” USGS replied.
Sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide are both extremely poisonous gases with pungent smells, but if toxicity isn’t enough to keep you away from this obviously dangerous situation, this hellish visual might do the trick. After conducting a simple Google search, we witnessed the disturbing effects of mixing confectioners’ sugar and sulfuric acid: After intrepid YouTuber CrazyRussianHacker mingles a small amount of each substance in a beaker, a thick, nightmarish charcoal tube forms and snakes out at least a foot.
Thankfully, there have not been any reported sightings of people actually trying to roast marshmallows via volcano. Just make s’mores by the campfire people, seriously. Here’s how to make the ultimate ooey-gooey marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker summer snack.