As winter weather sweeps across the country, people may want to think twice before they chomp down on an icicle. Katie Nikolaou, a meteorologist with KMEG in Sioux City, Iowa, went viral on TikTok in late December 2020, and grossed millions of people out, after she put out a warning to icicle-eaters: "Don't eat icicles!"
Nikolaou explained the reasoning behind her warning in a short clip shared to the social media platform, candidly informing people that while icicles may appear like pure water, they collect plenty of nasty particles as they form. In the video, she said, "please don't do that. I'm a meteorologist, I should know." She then went on to explain that "when icicles form it's from water that runs off your roof. You know what else is on your roof? Bird poop. A lot of it." She added that the water running from your roof "picks it up and freezes it in the ice," meaning that when you decide to treat yourself to an icicle, "you're eating poop."
This is a PSA for anyone wanting to eat icicles... DON’T DO IT! 💩 pic.twitter.com/5h9el3ZH72— Meteorologist Katie Nickolaou (@weather_katie) December 30, 2020
The video quickly went viral and has since been liked by 3.5 million people, with even more chiming in with their shock and disgust in the comments. One person commented, "I did that yesterday and I think im sick now lol," with another joking, "Gotta keep the immune system strong." In a follow-up video, Nikolaou said roof icicles are not the only icicles people should avoid.
"Icicles contain all kinds of contaminants," she said. "From leaves to potentially dead squirrel bodies if they're up on your roof...maybe a trace or a hint of a lost basketball that you just couldn't get down, yeah, that could all be in icicles."
Nikolaou, who got her college degree a year and a half ago, dished more details when speaking with BuzzFeed News. She told the outlet she first realized how nasty icicles can be in college, explaining that "if you hang around weather nerds enough you're going to find some really weird facts."
During her TikTok stardom, Nikolaou also burst another bubble: icicles don't make for very good deadly weapons. After several people chimed in on the initial video suggesting such, the meteorologist shared another video debunking the claim, demonstrating how an icicle is too fragile to stab anyone. She did warn, though, that while an icicle "won't impale you," it can still cause "blunt force trauma."