Why not to have a Liquid Nitrogen Pool Party


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German liquor company Jägermeister recently hosted a party in Mexico, during which staffers poured what appeared to be numerous 10-liter dewars of liquid nitrogen into the water, creating a foggy effect. In videos, you can hear partiers “Woo!”-ing… and then, not two minutes later, those not in the water pointing and saying, in Spanish, “Somebody’s fainted. Someone else has fainted.”

Another video shows partiers jumping into the pool to pull limp bodies out of the water.

What happened? Not what others have reported, according to ChemBark, a blog by St. Louis University chemist Paul Bracher. Fox News Latino, the U.K.’s the Daily Mail, KTLA and others have said the nitrogen reacted with chlorine in the pool to form a “toxic cloud.”

“This is almost certainly incorrect,” Bracher wrote. Actually, molecular nitrogen is inert and shouldn’t react with anything in the pool, he said. Instead, the nitrogen displaced oxygen from the air above the pool, “leaving none for the swimmers to breathe.”

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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