DHMO, The Ever-Present Threat #YesIKnow

dhmo.In a blast from the past, Facebook served me a warning about DHMO, or Dihydrogen Monoxide, yesterday. I first heard about this deadly substance back in the Bronze Age of the internet, when we communicated by means of clay tablets Bulletin Board Systems and your SysOp was the guy down the street, and his server was a dedicated computer in the back bedroom. The Science list was all about this for a month or so. I think we stopped shouting about it when we saw it was embarrassing our non-geek friends. We were not unkind, after all.

The fact that I thought — and still think — this is floor-rolling funny probably tells you all you need to know about me.

To begin your journey of learning about this threat that nobody is doing anything to mitigate, start with the Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division. You can even order a HazMat vial of the stuff and lesson plans. Teachers get a discount.

If you don’t like the T-shirts the Research Division offers, Cafe Press has a line of Dihydrogen Monoxide items to help you spread the warning everywhere you go.

One of the earliest DHMO watchdogs was the Coalition to Ban DHMO, which maintains a web site they update at least twice a year.

Of course, there are always apologists and cheerleaders for even the most dangerous compounds, and DHMO is not to be left out. Friends of Hydrogen Hydroxide tries to reframe the debate by using an alternate name for dihydrogen monoxide. Of course, they’re also affiliated with The Scorched Earth Party (link redacted deliberately) which advocates that you “save the world through random, messy violence, and then wallow in carnal pleasure among the ruins.” As my mother’s mother used to say, “I wouldn’t trust them behind the door.”

For a full run-down on the history and facts behind the DHMO controversy, please visit Today I Found Out, a wonderful website I discovered while researching today’s post. I think you’ll love it as much as I do.

And remember to use dihydrogen monoxide responsibly. Let’s be careful out there.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character makes and pursues a joke that falls flat and flatter.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “DHMO, The Ever-Present Threat #YesIKnow

  1. Jane

    August 7, 2015 at 9:36am

    You little sneaker!
    Well done!

    I have to tell you that my last house, on Coral Avenue, labored seriously under the dihydrogen monoxide curse. That s*%t was everywhere! Always getting in, leaking where it didn’t belong…the HORROR!!

    I just can’t go on….

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      August 7, 2015 at 10:01am

      I feel ya, gurllfren! There’s a combination of dihydrogen monoxide and sodium chloride on my face RIGHT NOW.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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