Thursday April 18, 2024

TikTok's germ-buster exposes shocking reality of potable water from restaurant

Scientist's shocking discoveries remind us all to be mindful of unseen germs that may surround us, even in places we least expect

By Web Desk
March 03, 2024
Representational image. — Pixabay
Representational image. — Pixabay

Have you ever wondered what lurks on the surfaces we touch daily? 

Tim Call, a 32-year-old microbiologist from Utah, unravels the secret. 

The scientist is on a mission to reveal the unseen world of germs, and his recent TikTok video has left thousands in shock and disbelief.

In a short nine-second clip posted on his profile @WhatMightGrow, Tim compares the bacteria collected from a popular fast-food chain's drinks dispenser to what it should ideally look like. 

Saw the video?

The footage reveals a stark contrast – a murky, orangey-brown liquid from the fast-food dispenser compared to a crystal-clear sample moments later. The revelation has sparked widespread concern and disgust among viewers.

One concerned viewer, Quarkz, expressed, "I’m never asking for a cup of water at a restaurant again!" 

The sentiment echoed across comments, with others sharing their own experiences and apprehensions. The viral video, accompanied by a Spongebob soundbite, has gained traction, leaving many questioning the hygiene of commonly used public spaces.

@whatmightgrow Storytime: In this fun experiment, I went to a movie theater and tested the popcorn they sold. Additionally, for comparison, I grabbed some popcorn off the floor to show that bacteria can grow on popcorn. Unsuprisingly, popcorn from the floor is filthy. However, when I worked as an environmental microbiologist for various industries, this is a common test procedure and I would test items that would be commonly found on the floor. Often I would test factory workers shoes and EVERY SINGLE TIME I would find some of the craziest growths and via PCR it was determined to almost always have pathogens present. The most common pathogen I would see were Staphylococcus, Listeria, E. Coli, and Salmonella. The lesson of this mini experiment is to show what you would find if you were to eat things off the floor. I wish I knew this as a little kid, because I was notorious for going to the candy section where you could scoop out candy into bags, and eating any candy that was on the floor. If I were to guess, the small amount of bacteria found on the “fresh” popcorn would be Staphylococcus which is commonly found on humans and probably came from myself or the movie theater workers. The growth from the floor popcorn could literally be anything and would need PCR for identification. #popcorn #movie #microbiology #bacteria #science #fyp #longervideos ♬ Runaway - Piano Rendition - The Blue Notes & L'Orchestra Cinematique

Tim, with his TikTok following of over 317,000, is no stranger to exposing the grim reality of everyday items. Recently, he turned his attention to cinema popcorn, conducting a revealing experiment that unveiled shocking findings.

Visiting a local cinema, Tim collected fresh popcorn from the stand and grabbed a handful from the theatre floor. Testing both samples, he uncovered a stark difference in the petri dishes under the microscope. The fresh popcorn dish remained relatively clean, while the floor popcorn dish exhibited thousands of bacterial colonies and large patches of fungus.

As viewers grappled with the revelation, comments poured in, with one person humorously stating, "So what you’re saying is; I shouldn’t eat popcorn off the floor anymore?" Tim's experiments serve as a visual guide, answering questions about the cleanliness of everyday items.

Tim shared his motivation, stating, "I make this content because I’ve always been curious about what was growing around me, and I wanted to visually see it."