Circulating message warns that drinking Pepsi and eating Mentos together will lead to instant death because the mixture turns into cyanide poison.
The claims in the message are untrue. Combining Pepsi (or Coke) and Mentos will create a rather spectacular chemical reaction and consuming the two together might cause a stomach upset. However, there are no credible reports that support the claim that it could cause death or serious injury. And the claim that the products magically turn into cyanide is utter nonsense. The ‘warning’ is just a resurrected version of a very old hoax that first began circulating around a decade ago.
According to this rather breathless ‘warning’ message, drinking Pepsi after eating Polo or Mentos mints leads to instant death. The message claims that, when combined, the two products turn into cyanide poison, thus killing those who consume them. It asks that you pass on the information to as many people as possible to help keep them safe. To drive home the point, the message features images depicting the two products concerned along with a picture showing a young woman with blood around her mouth.
However, the warning is nonsense. Consuming the two products will not cause death as claimed.
Of course, as most of us probably know by now, combining Mentos candy with Pepsi or Coke does cause a rather spectacular chemical reaction. Elements of the candy react with the carbon dioxide in the cola to create fountains of fizz. The scientific reasons for the reaction are well documented and certainly not a mystery. And, because the fizz geysers created by the reaction are both fun and easy to create, there are thousands of YouTube videos showing cola and Mentos experiments. A great many people – young and old – have conducted such experiments themselves.
Given the strength of the chemical reaction, it is perhaps not surprising that people might fear the possible health outcomes of eating Mentos and drinking cola together. But, despite the fact that the Coke and Mentos craze has been popular for at least a decade, there are no credible news or medical reports that support the idea that people have died or been seriously injured after eating the products. Moreover, there are countless YouTube videos depicting people actually consuming Mentos and cola without dropping dead or becoming seriously ill. Eating and drinking the products or holding them in your mouth might cause prolonged belching or projectile vomiting. You might come away with an upset tummy. It might end up rather messy. It is thus an experiment that people, especially children, should avoid because it may well cause distress and discomfort. But, it’s NOT going to kill you.
In fact, this would-be warning is just an updated version of much older ‘Coke and Mentos death’ hoaxes that have circulated since at least 2006. Discovery’s MythBusters TV show did a segment about the Coke and Mentos death myth some years ago and pronounced it ‘busted’.
And, of course, the suggestion that a mixture of Pepsi and Mentos can somehow turn into deadly cyanide poison is simply absurd. If potentially fatal quantities of cyanide could be produced by the casual combination of everyday products like cola and candy, then deaths by cyanide poisoning would be commonplace. And, there would also be official and well-publicised warnings about combining these supposed cyanide producing components.
Circulating such nonsensical health warnings helps nobody.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!