man holding up honeycomb in squid game

Noh Juhan/Netflix

A teenager got third-degree burns after attempting a challenge from ‘Squid Game’

Doctors are now warning people to take care when handling hot items.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Nov 1, 2021   Updated on Nov 1, 2021, 1:27 pm CDT

Amid the widespread popularity of Netflix’s Squid Game around the world, people have taken to enacting their own version of the games played throughout the deadly competition. But while the recreations have been far less lethal than on the show, one of the challenges has led to the hospitalization of a 14-year-old in Sydney with reports of several other hospitalizations in Australia.

In episode 3, players were presented with a honeycomb candy, known as Dalgona, engraved with one of four shapes—a triangle, a circle, a star, and an umbrella—and had 10 minutes to cut out the shape with only a needle (and without breaking the shape) in order to move onto the next game; anyone who broke their shape or didn’t finish in time was instantly shot dead. Over the past few weeks, TikTokers have taken to trying the challenge themselves, many of which resulted in broken honeycombs while others shared recipes on how to make honeycombs at home with water, sugar, and baking soda.

According to the Daily Mail, three teenagers in Sydney ended up hospitalized after they attempted to make the honeycombs. One of those teenagers, identified as 14-year-old Aiden Higgie, attempted to make a honeycomb in the microwave in a non-microwave safe cup.

The attempt resulted in the mix (which included sugar and plastic) exploding and getting onto Higgie’s hand and leg.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Aiden’s mother Helen detailed how the honeycomb burned Aiden and noted that doctors had considered treating the third-degree burns with a skin graft.

“It boiled up to a ridiculous temperature, and when he took the cup out it exploded in his hand,” his mother Helen told the Daily Telegraph. “It has burnt his hand, and because it was sugar and plastic melted together, it has run down his leg from his knee down to his shin and it stuck and kept on burning and burning and burning.”

Higgie’s burns are expected to take about a year to treat. The Daily Dot has reached out to Netflix for comment.

Doctors are urging people to be careful when making honeycomb and offering suggestions like supervising children who want to cook with hot liquids and, in the case of burns, running them under cool running water for 20 minutes.

“Sugar melts at a temperature that is higher than what’s needed to boil water, so the honeycomb toffee mix is both hotter and ‘stickier,’” Dr. Erik La Hei, the acting head of the burns unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, said. “If the mixture is spilt or handled while it’s still hot, the greater heat and longer contact time causes deeper, more serious burns,” he said.

Share this article
*First Published: Nov 1, 2021, 1:03 pm CDT