Dihydrogen Monoxide: The History of the Joke

Dihydrogen Monoxide: The History of the Joke

Austin New

Do you know of the dangerous chemical dihydrogen monoxide?

Dihydrogen monoxide, also known as hydroxyl acid, is a chemical that you are guaranteed to have come across in your life, and you might not even know it. It can commonly be found within the infrastructure of cities and can cause serious damage to the body, common building materials, and the Earth itself.

Dihydrogen monoxide has often been sighted as a catalyst for corrosion in some materials, including iron, as well as the erosion of the natural landscape. While there are many preventative measures for such damage due to this chemical, the potential effects are impossible to ignore.

Along with the effects on nature and objects, the damage to the human body, when in the correct dose, can be devastating. Dihydrogen Monoxide has been linked to hundreds of thousands of suffocations, blisters, burn, and, although rare, poisonings.

Unfortunately, dihydrogen monoxide is already in our food, our drinks, and even our air. We as humans have become addicted to the chemical without even realizing it. Studies have shown that many people can only survive about three days without access to dihydrogen monoxide. Those who go without this chemical can experience lightheadedness, dry mouth, drowsiness, and an incredible urge to consume this naturally occurring substance.

Several groups have tried to get the chemical banned, however, none have succeeded. Because, if you have not figured it out yet, dihydrogen monoxide is water.

This joke was first published in the Durand Express in 1983, later in the parody newspaper

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1990. The Post-Gazette called for the ban of water, and was later used in the science project called “How gullible are we?”.

Apart from the newspapers and projects, many others have publicly called for the banning of dihydrogen monoxide, mostly as a joke. In 1998, a member of the Australian Parliament called for the ban of this chemical on April Fools Day. In 2009, a member of the Canadian parliament published on his website that he was calling for the ban of water, also on April Fools Day.

The point of this joke is to point out ignorance among people. Of course, it is safe to say that dihydrogen monoxide will never be banned. So, do not worry dear reader, your addiction to this “dangerous chemical” is safe.