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Ines Vuckovic/DoseInvestigating center school slumber parties’ greatest prank.

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Our middle School Mysteries series investigates childhood rumors you never ever bothered to fact-check yourself.

I have actually a minimal tolerance for staying awake — as a son I was constantly the first to fall asleep at slumber parties. Anyone knows the first person out is the first to get pranked. Ago then, among the most famous pranks was dipping a sleeping person’s hand in heat water to view if they will do wet the bed, setup them up because that a lifetime of urine-related nicknames.

I managed to make it through middle school without ever getting pee pranked (let’s take a short moment of silence because that those who were much less fortunate). Yet I’m curious to recognize if dipping someone’s hand in warm water really reasons them come lose manage of their bladder.

Let’s investigate.

The experiment

If friend look the pee check up on YouTube — and I highly recommend girlfriend do — you’ll watch the outcomes are inconclusive: occasionally the check works, but more often, it doesn’t.

But in 2009, the TV present “MythBusters” placed the entire matter to bed, so to speak. The show brought two test topics to a California sleep lab, hooked them increase to mind monitoring equipment and lined the bed v moisture-activated voice alarms. As soon as the volunteer got to deep sleep, the other volunteer snuck right into the room and dipped the sleeper’s hand in a key of warm water. Later, castle swapped places so the sleeper ended up being the dipper and vice versa.

Neither volunteer wet the bed. Yet that doesn’t typical it’s impossible.

The strength of suggestion

According come a 1996 Gallup poll, 25% of every Americans identify as superstitious. This means that one quarter of the country believes they have the right to achieve an excellent fortune by transferring a rabbit’s foot or by avoiding ladders and also black cats.

Psychologists believe our expectations are powerful enough to influence the outcome of a certain occurrence. Because that example, if you know parties do you feel anxious and also drinking wine renders you feel less inhibited, after drinking a glass you could find you yourself feeling and behaving in a much more outgoing manner. The wine didn’t do you more extroverted — but your mind believes it did.

The exact same theory holds true because that the hand-in-water prank. Mental Floss posits that there’s an unconditioned an answer between hearing the sounds of running water and also having come pee. Castle argue the dipping a hand in water might cause the mind to make a comparable connection, in order to relaxing the bladder.

Mental Floss likewise suggests that “immersion diuresis” can be to blame because that this phenomena. Immersion diuresis is when the body is spanned in water and subjected to alters in pressure and temperature, bring about urination. For immersion diuresis to work, however, the entire body would should be submerged, so mental Floss doesn’t offer this concept too lot credence.

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The results

Both MythBusters and Mental Floss compete that not sufficient research has been carry out to make a definitive ruling on whether or not the pee check works. Therefore there’s just one point to it is in done: Everyone step up and pee test a girlfriend (or enemy) today.