Flashy new trend sizzles for summer

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Photo Credit: Sophie Ferreri

Hallie Johnson (18′) puts her iPhone flash to the black ink drawn on her forearm in a classroom.

by Sophie Ferreri, Staff Writer

A hot new fad that involves students drawing squares in Sharpie marker on the hands of other students is burning through the high school.

Perhaps you’ve already seen black squares drawn on the hands of your fellow classmates and questioned why. Whatever the reason, drawing a box in black sharpie on one’s skin then pressing an iPhone’s camera flash directly on the sharpie to burn oneself has become an appealing idea to some.

“I don’t know why I did it, considering everyone told me it would burn, but I just had to see for myself,” Hallie Johnson (‘18) said. “I also didn’t believe it, like, how is that even possible?”

One science teacher thinks she has the answer to that question.

“Black absorbs light and the flash from the phone is the light. Therefore, as it absorbs the light, it burns the person who’s dumb enough to try it,” chemistry teacher Ms. Irene Bickert-Fink said.

The black dye of the sharpie is darker than different shades of skin color, so it does not have a lesser effect on darker-colored skin. Skin is also natrually good at dispersing the energy from light; sharpie ink, however, is not.

The shock or sting that has been a phenomenon within the halls of the high school is the heat of the light. The heat is a burn. Bickert-Fink believes that it could potentially lead to skin cancer.

Ms. Stephanie Nerney and Ms. Robin Leone, the school nurses, say students should avoid this new trend.

“There is no evidenced-based research as to the long-term effects. However, after reviewing the posts, it is not recommended that the challenge be attempted,” Nerney and Leone said.