Are you or someone you know considering to attempt the Forbidden Fruit Challenge? If so, please don’t. The repercussions of swallowing Tide laundry detergent pods won’t only damage your reputation as a competent human being, it will likely hospitalize you. Such is exactly what happened to a young man named JR.

The 17-year-old boy (whose named has been changed for privacy) recently showed up to the Emergency Room (ER)  unconscious and struggling to breathe. The cause? His decision to partake in the Forbidden Fruit Challenge. The new trend entails a group of people agreeing to record themselves as they eat detergent pods, then upload the footage to social media. The video that receives the most “likes” wins. 

Credit: Chubbyemu

Hoping for 15 minutes of fame, JR decided to partake. Chubbyemu reports that the teenager’s mom found him lying on the floor, his lips blue. It didn’t take her long to establish what had happened. Sadly, it didn’t end well for JR. He was hospitalized due to the effect the challenge had on his lungs.

In the video below, Dr. Bernard explains the case of JR and the repercussions of him eating three laundry pods on a dare. In his own words, JR said he wanted to “experience the greatness of laundry pod flavor and become Internet famous” when he took the challenge.

Watch the video below:

JR started the challenge by taking three laundry pods and putting them in his mouth. He then chewed and swallowed them. “Immediately he felt a burning sensation waft up into his nose,” explained Dr. Bernard. As his tongue began to numb, JR began to vomit. As he coughed, some of the detergent went down his throat and some of it into his airway. It was then that JR began to froth at the mouth and felt a burning sensation down his esophagus, a clear sign the liquid was trickling into his stomach.

When JR’s mom found him, his lips were blue and he was unconscious. That’s when she called emergency services and they told her to rush him to the ER. As IFLScience reports, JR was suffering from a caustic esophageal injury (burning of the esophagus) caused by the detergent. Dr. Bernard explains in the video below that the liquid with detergent pods can be “at least 100,000 times more basic than human blood.” So clearly, it’s something that should not be entering the human organism.

Credit: Chubbyemu

“Contact with mucosal surfaces like the esophagus produces liquefactive necrosis,” explained Dr. Bernard. What this means is that when the detergent is swallowed, the tissue begins to die and turns into a liquid puss, running further into the body. This occurs as the lining of the esophagus disintegrates. “All of this happens within one second of contact,” the physician explains in the video above.

Without immediate treatment, the 17-year-old would have died. This is because the laundry detergent damaged his windpipe and, as a result, made breathing difficult. When the boy coughed, said Bernard, the detergent got into his lungs. The more he coughed, the more it lodged into his airways, causing the cell linings of his lungs to start stripping away.

JR has received excellent medical attention and will survive. However, had his mom not found him, he would have died. Hopefully, his experience prevents others from partaking in the Forbidden Fruit Challenge and risking both life and credibility. 


h/t IFLScience