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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 limited tolerance for continuing to be awake — as a boy I was always the an initial to loss asleep in ~ slumber parties. Anyone knows the very first person the end is the first to acquire pranked. Ago then, one of the most renowned pranks was dipping a resting person’s hand in warm water to watch if they’d wet the bed, setup them up for a lifetime of urine-related nicknames.

I regulated to do it through middle school without ever before getting urine pranked (let’s take it a quick moment that silence because that those who were much less fortunate). But I’m curious to recognize if dipping someone’s hand in heat water really reasons them come lose manage of their bladder.

Let’s investigate.

The experiment

If you look the pee test up on YouTube — and I very recommend friend do — you’ll see the outcomes are inconclusive: sometimes the check works, but an ext often, it doesn’t.

But in 2009, the TV display “MythBusters” put the whole matter to bed, so come speak. The show brought two test topics to a California sleep lab, hooked them up to brain monitoring equipment and lined the bed through moisture-activated voice alarms. Once the volunteer reached deep sleep, the various other volunteer snuck into the room and also dipped the sleeper’s hand in a key of heat water. Later, castle swapped places so the sleeper became the dipper and vice versa.

Neither volunteer wet the bed. But that doesn’t median it’s impossible.

The power of suggestion

According come a 1996 Gallup poll, 25% of every Americans determine as superstitious. This means that one 4 minutes 1 of the nation believes they can achieve good fortune by transferring a rabbit’s foot or by preventing ladders and black cats.

Psychologists think our expectation are an effective enough to affect the result of a details occurrence. Because that example, if you understand parties make you feeling anxious and drinking wine renders you feel less inhibited, after drinking a glass you might find you yourself feeling and also behaving in a more outgoing manner. The wine didn’t do you much more extroverted — but your brain believes it did.

The very same theory stop true because that the hand-in-water prank. Psychological Floss posits that there’s an unconditioned solution between hearing the sounds of running water and having come pee. Castle argue that dipping a hand in water might reason the brain to do a comparable connection, thereby relaxing the bladder.

Mental Floss additionally suggests that “immersion diuresis” could be come blame for this phenomena. Immersion diuresis is when the body is covered in water and subjected to alters in pressure and temperature, resulting in urination. Because that immersion diuresis come work, however, the whole body would should be submerged, so mental Floss doesn’t give this concept too lot credence.

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The results

Both MythBusters and also Mental Floss compete that not sufficient research has actually been carry out to make a definitive ruling on even if it is or not the pee check works. For this reason there’s just one thing to be done: Everyone action up and pee test a girlfriend (or enemy) today.