The Real Reason You Should Never Eat Icicles

Add icicles to the list of natural wintertime treats you shouldn't put in your mouth. Most of us were warned about the perils of yellow snow at a young age, so we won't belabor that point. But you might not know about the dangers of icicle eating. Icicles that aren't yellow look clean and safe enough but could be loaded with dozens of harmful germs that could make you sick (via The Takeout).

Meteorologist Katie Nickolaou from Sioux City, Iowa explained the risks involved in eating icicles in a recent video she posted on TikTok. Her social-media PSA has been viewed 13 million times.

Nickolaou's video begins with a clip from another woman's TikTok, which shows her eating an icicle she picked off her roof. Then Nickolaou appears, standing outside a building draped with icicles. "Please don't do that!" she warns. "I"m a meteorologist, I should know. When icicles form, it's from water that melts off of your roof and runs down the side of a building. ... You know what else is on your roof? Bird poop. A lot of it. And that water picks it up and freezes it in the ice. You're eating poop!"

After Nickolaou posted her TikTok on Twitter, Viva Frei commented with some additions to the icicle menu: "Decomposing leaves. Dead rotting squirrels and rats stuck in drain gutters ... aw yeah."

With icicles, bird poop isn't the only thing to worry about

While some Twitter users appreciated Nickolaou's advice, others were annoyed that she had to ruin a simple childhood pleasure. A Twitter user who goes by Craig said, "This message brought to you by generation millennial/generation Z who were raised to be afraid of EVERYTHING. Many of us over 40 ate icicles as kids and survived. A miracle!" Twitter user @PapaGlider commented, "No one is concerned about the small quantity of poop they eat in meat products. Let them enjoy the icicles."

Truly, the number of people who become seriously ill from munching on an icicle is likely to be vanishingly small. The real danger with icicle eating may be to your teeth, not your guts. Ice is hard, and chewing it can fracture a tooth or ruin a filling (via Insider).

We haven't even discussed the people who slip on icy sidewalks or get frostbite from being outside too long without gloves. It's wintertime, and it's dangerous out there. Wherever you decide to be, stay safe and stay away from icicle pops.