TikTok Users Are Burning Snowballs in Viral Videos to 'Prove' the Snow is Fake

Screenshot: TikTok

Have you seen those viral videos on TikTok and Twitter where users are burning snow to “prove” that it’s actually fake? Needless to say, the snow is real. The viral videos actually show a perfectly normal reaction to placing the flame of a lighter or match against a snowball. But that hasn’t stopped these videos from racking up millions of views.

Recent Video

This browser does not support the video element.

Who’s creating this “fake” snow that’s falling from the sky all around the world, according to the conspiracy theorists? Bill Gates, of course, the evil puppetmaster behind so many of the world’s ills right now—from the covid-19 pandemic to secret tracking chips inside all of the world’s coronavirus vaccines.

Yes, conspiracy theorists with smartphones are really worried about being constantly tracked through their... vaccines. And it’s not just Bill Gates. Some people believe China is in on the whole conspiracy, sending fake snow to the U.S. in an effort to convince Americans climate change is real. China may have even done this to make Ted Cruz look bad, according to some conspiracy theorists.


“No water, no dripping, no nothing,” one woman explains in a recent TikTok video that went viral after being re-uploaded to Twitter by someone poking fun at the conspiracy theories.


“If I put this in the microwave, it’s going to start sparking because there’s metal mixed in it,” the woman insists.

“No way, it’s gotten harder,” a man in the video can be heard saying after she takes the lighter away.


“It’s not melting, it’s just burning,” the woman continues.

But the snow is real. The secret behind the “burning” snow videos is a term called sublimation. When the flame hits the snowball, it’s turning the snow from a solid into a gas rather than a liquid. The snow is becoming vapor rather than becoming a puddle of liquid at your feet.


That’s sublimation, and there are several videos on YouTube about the process.

This idea that snow can be “fake” and might be proved to be something else has been around for a while now, as you can see from the videos on YouTube. The YouTube video above is from 2014, just one of the many times when the conspiracy theory was circulating widely on the internet.


As it happens, the woman from our earlier video actually did put some of her “fake snow” in the microwave to prove that it was all a hoax filled with metal. And to absolutely no one’s surprise, the snow didn’t start sparking. There was no metal.


Why is this conspiracy theory gaining traction again? It seems to be two factors: First, Texas was hit with an absolutely devastating winter storm that brought snow to areas that almost never see snow. A lot of people in Texas are seeing snow for the first time in their lives and that naturally leads to a lot of questions.

Secondly, there’s the fact that Bill Gates has actually floated the idea of using weather control to battle climate change. The idea is to spray calcium carbonate into the atmosphere so that it can reflect some of the sun’s rays back and hopefully cool down the Earth, as Forbes explains.


True weather control has been a dream of scientists for decades. The May 28, 1954 cover of Collier’s magazine made weather control a very literal situation where you’d pull different levers to make it rain.

Image: Novak Archive


Actual weather control in the 20th century didn’t work like that, of course. It took the form of cloud seeding during the Vietnam War—an attempt to extend the monsoon season in Southeast Asia and flood the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the supply line that allowed the North Vietnamese to move weapons, food, and people to fight against the U.S. invasion.

The U.S. military spent roughly $3 million per year from 1967 to 1972 trying to change the weather in Vietnam and when existence of the program, called Operation Popeye, leaked to the Washington Post in 1971, the Nixon administration flatly denied that it existed. That was a lie, of course.


And that might be part of the problem today when websites like Gizmodo try to debunk something like metal-filled snow falling on Texas. You can conduct your own experiments and find out for yourself that the snow is just snow, but that doesn’t put the issue to rest, if only because the U.S. government has lied again and again about its own plans—from conspiracies to invade Cuba to the notorious CIA program MKUltra that drugged people without their consent.

Bill Gates isn’t making fake snow in Texas. At least not yet.

Update, 11:20 a.m. ET: Language has been tweaked to make clear that Twitter user redbullbaby420 was not the original creator of a conspiracy theory TikTok video but instead had re-uploaded the video to make fun of it.


Read more!
Want Gizmodo’s email newsletter?