Idaho Falls, Idaho — Dihydrogen monoxide causes thousands of drownings each year, leads to excessive sweating and vomiting and contributes to land erosion. And there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.
Fifteen-year-old Nathan Zohner made people aware of that fact by proving in his science project on critical thinking skills just how vulnerable people are.
Newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, universities, even members of Idaho’s Congressional delegation have been calling Nathan in recent weeks to talk about the project that won the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair in April, the Post Register reported Wednesday.
The project asked 50 ninth graders if the compound called dihydrogen monoxide should be banned. Forty-three said yes and six were undecided. Only one person was able to tell Nathan dihydrogen monoxide is just another name for water.
The Skyline High School sophomore said he just wanted to show how easily people can be misled.
“Some of my friends could have done this. It wasn’t that extraordinary. It was just a simple science project that kind of blew up,” he said.
Nathan got the idea after his father, Steven, a nuclear scientist at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, brought home a flier from an anonymous author describing the “dangers” of dihydrogen monoxide.