Photo via Catherinevarga.com

First of all, do not attempt this recipe. Do not try this at home!

Maybe you have always wanted to make your own crystals and never got that cute little set as a child.

Right now, there’s a particularly toxic recipe being passed around the internet that promises to let you grow your own crystals. It’s rumored that this recipe originally started on 4chan but has since spread to tons of different websites like Tumblr, Zoklet, and Roblox.

Maybe you’ve seen this recipe floating around. It could look like this;

Or this;

But they all say the same thing. You’ll need several pennies, a straw, ammonia, a jar, salt, bleach, and baking soda. The instructions say to put the pennies at the bottom of the jar; you fill the jar up to 2/3 full of ammonia, and then top it off with bleach. You’re then supposed to blow bubbles into the mix, using the straw. Now most readers might notice the danger right away, some might not. For those of you who are out of the loop; mixing ammonia and bleach is a very, very bad idea.

 

What Does the Recipe Promise?

The recipe promises that, should you add all the ingredients and blow into the solution, crystals will begin to grow and you’ll end up with this:

What Do You Actually Get?

Now most of the articles or complaints on the internet claim that this recipe will produce mustard gas, which can kill. However, this is false.

Mixing ammonia and bleach will actually produce chloramine gas and chlorine gas. Both of these gasses are bad for your health and can cause health problems. Only extreme and long term exposure will kill you, however. Chlorine gas can cause irritation to airways, eyes, and skin. Long term effects include sore throat, coughing, burning of the eyes and skin, temporary blindness, and difficulty breathing. Chloramine gas can also cause irritation to eyes and airways, but also can cause a buildup of liquid in the lungs.

 

A Tasty Alternative

Maybe you think you’ll a little too old for this, but why not make sugar crystals? This recipe you can try at home! For one thing, it won’t jeopardize your health and for another; it’s delicious! Forgot all about this little recipe? This is all you need:

 

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups table sugar (sucrose)
  • 1 clean glass jar
  • 1 butter knife
  • String
  • 1 pan or bowl for boiling water and making solution
  • 1 spoon
  • Food coloring (optional)

 

Making Your Sugar Crystals

 

  • Boil the water
  • Stir in the sugar, a little at a time, until it no longer dissolves and there is a little at the bottom
  • Add a few drops of food coloring to the water, if you want colored crystals
  • Add the water to the jar
  • Tie the string to the butter knife
  • Set the knife on top of the glass jar so that the string hangs in the jar without touching the sides or bottom
  • Set the jar somewhere safe
  • Check back in a day and you should see some crystals already growing
  • Let the crystals grow until they have reached the desired size
  • Remove the string and allow crystals to dry

 

Other Options

Don’t want sugar crystals? Then you’ll likely have to buy a crystal making kit or start buying up some chemicals. You can get a pretty awesome kit from the Smithsonian for only $42 on Amazon.