Power is returning to homes across Texas, but some TikTokers have continued to share videos saying the snow from the brutal winter storms has been engineered by the government. Insider reports that the majority of the videos show people attempting to burn a snowball with a match, lighter, or a candle, and the users act surprised when the snow doesn’t melt. They contend that this shows the snow isn’t real, even though it’s actually a process known as sublimation. All snow actually reacts this way, because it’s turning into a gas.
“It’s not even melting,” one of the videos has a user exclaim, PolitiFact reports. “It’s just turning black!”
Users have made Olympic-quality leaps to justify their claims, with some theorizing the weather could be some sort of government conspiracy, while others have suggested that a simulated reality or even alien technology is at play. This conpsiracy theory isn’t exactly new, as USA Today points out, but it has picked up a lot of traction amid the harsh weather in Texas.
“To summarize, two things happen: One is that as the snow melts, the remaining snow absorbs the water. That’s why it doesn’t appear to drip; the snowball becomes a slushball," wrote Phil Plait in 2014 when he addressed claims of fake snow for an article on Slate's Bad Astronomy blog. Essentially, the snow disappears by turning into vapor as opposed to just a puddle of rainwater.