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

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I have a limited tolerance for remaining awake — as a child I was constantly the an initial to loss asleep in ~ slumber parties. Anyone knows the an initial person out is the first to get pranked. Back then, one of the most popular pranks was dipping a sleeping person’s hand in warmth water to see if they’d wet the bed, setup them up because that a life time of urine-related nicknames.

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

Let’s investigate.

The experiment

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

But in 2009, the TV display “MythBusters” put the whole matter to bed, so to speak. The show carried two test topics to a California sleep lab, hooked them up to mind monitoring equipment and lined the bed with 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 warm water. Later, lock swapped areas so the sleeper became the dipper and also vice versa.

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

The strength of suggestion

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

Psychologists think our expectation are powerful enough to affect the result of a certain occurrence. Because that example, if you know parties do you feel anxious and also drinking wine provides you feel less inhibited, after drink a glass you can find yourself feeling and also behaving in a much more outgoing manner. The alcohol didn’t make you an ext extroverted — but your mind believes it did.

The same theory holds true for the hand-in-water prank. Mental Floss posits that there’s one unconditioned an answer between hear the sounds of running water and having to pee. Lock argue the dipping a hand in water might cause the mind to make a similar connection, in order to relaxing the bladder.

Mental Floss also suggests that “immersion diuresis” can be to blame because that this phenomena. Immersion diuresis is as soon as the body is extended in water and also subjected to changes in pressure and also temperature, resulting in urination. Because that immersion diuresis come work, however, the entire body would should be submerged, so mental Floss doesn’t provide this concept too much credence.

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The results

Both MythBusters and also Mental Floss complete that not enough research has actually been perform to make a definitive judgment on whether or no the pee check works. Therefore there’s only one point to it is in done: Everyone step up and pee check a girlfriend (or enemy) today.