do birds explode when they eat pop rocks

What is POP ROCKS®?

POP ROCKS® are tiny hard candy pieces that have undergone superatmospheric pressure gasification with carbon dioxide. These gasified sugar granules dissolve candy and release gas trapped inside carbon dioxide bubbles when they come into contact with moisture, such as in the mouth, water, milk, soft drinks, etc. This produces the distinctive crackling and fizzling sounds.

Conclusion: Since true cyanide prevents oxygen from entering the blood, asphyxia results in death. And regrettably, there is a cyanide-sugar combination present in the pips of the “fruit of life.” But hang on to your Granny Smiths—the body can detoxify cyanide in small doses, so it would take a lot of apple seeds to kill someone. Furthermore, the lethal substance remains securely enclosed within the robust external layer of the pip, which is typically not consumed. Note: The same cyanide-sugar compound is also present in cherry, peach, and apricot pits.

As we get older, it becomes easier to rationally reject some of the bizarre things we were told as children, without really needing to look into whether they have any basis in reality. However, some of these claims—such as whether consuming too much carrots will turn you orange or whether eating rice actually hurts birds—tend to leave us wondering long after we reach adulthood. In order to pique your interest as well as ours, we’ve conducted research dispelling or verifying popular myths about food.

Claim: If you combine soda and Pop Rocks candy, your stomach will explode, and you could choke to death.

Verdict: False According to, death by overload of carbon dioxide, a.k.a. the Pop Rocks and soda pop myth, came about following a rumor that child-star Little Mikey (of LIFE cereal fame) had died from the explosive combination. (Hes actually still alive today and works as an advertising account manager for a NY radio station.) To convince the world that the fizzy candy can do no more than induce a pint-size burp, General Mills has since made extensive marketing efforts, including taking out full-page ads in numerous major publications and drafting upwards of 50,000 letters to school principals around the country, refuting the claim.

Verdict: False Were particularly fond of this myth because of its specificity—why seven years? Nevertheless, it is bogus: According to, as sticky as the candy seems, once swallowed and sent into the tubular depths of our digestive systems, its adhesive quality is quite unremarkable. The false claim may stem from confusion about the term “indigestible,” which is commonly applied to chewing gum.

Which gas is used in POP ROCKS®?

Carbon dioxide, the gas used in sodas worldwide. Less carbonation is found in a POP ROCKS® pouch than in half a can of soda.


Is it bad to eat a lot of Pop Rocks?

Pop Rocks are sugar. That’s all. They have the same effect on your body that any other sugar has, which is to say it’s not great for you, but there’s nothing acutely bad about it. Pop Rocks happen to be sugar pressurized with carbon dioxide: the tiny bubbles cause the popping sound as the sugar melts.

Why do Pop Rocks sizzle in your mouth?

Tiny CO2 bubbles become trapped in the mixture, which makes the candy shatter when it hardens and the pressure is released. The release of trapped carbon dioxide trapped in the Pop Rocks is ultimately what causes them to pop and fizz when they’re exposed to the heat and moisture in your mouth.