No, Do Not Roast Marshmallows Over Hawaii’s Erupting Volcano, Says USGS

Fortunately, there have been no reports of anyone trying this... yet.

Lava s’mores aren’t such a hot idea.

On Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Twitter account took a break from posting updates about Hawaii’s Kilauea volcanic eruption to respond to a silly question about snacks.

“Is it safe to roast marshmallows over volcanic vents?” asked Twitter user Jay Furr, who was presumably joking. “Assuming you had a long enough stick, that is? Or would the resulting marshmallows be poisonous?”

“Erm,” the USGS replied. “We’re going to have to say no, that’s not safe. (Please don’t try!)”

Not only does the idea of cooking over scorching molten rocks seem extremely unsafe, the USGS said that the marshmallows wouldn’t even taste good if the vents were emitting hydrogen sulfide or sulfur dioxide. The agency also noted that if you add sulfuric acid to sugar, “you get a pretty spectacular reaction.”

And in case you were curious as to what this “spectacular reaction” would look like, here’s a sample:


Thankfully, there have no reports of fools toasting confections over a giant rock that spews fire since the agency answered the user’s question.

Thanks for your good work, USGS.