I remember the first time I tried Pop Rocks. I was a little suspicious of the crackling candy. My neighbor bought a couple of packets from the ice cream man, ripped open the package, ate a handful, and opened his mouth so I could hear the sizzling sound within. The thought of having little candies snap and pop inside my mouth was weird, but I tried it anyway, and it was fun, I guess.
Even with that slight fear, I never thought that the candy would kill me. Although, that was a legitimate fear that parents had when Pop Rocks first debuted in 1975, according to Pop Rocks itself.
Before the myth that you could explode when combining the candied rocks with soda, parents were terrified that their kids would choke to death, too.
It got so bad that the FDA had to create a telephone hotline, so they could put people's nerves to rest and assure them that Pop Rocks were safe.
After being out in stores for a few years, in 1979, the "exploding kid" story came in hard and fast. A rumor was going around that the kid from Life cereal's "Mikey Likes It," commercial mixed six packs of Pop Rocks with a six-pack of Pepsi at a party, and his stomach exploded.
This forced Pop Rocks to put out full page ads in 45 different news publications, and wrote 50,000 letters to school principals, trying to explain to people that the story was completely fabricated, and that the worst thing than can come from it is a strong belch.
Their attempts initially failed, even though the kid in the urban legend is literally still alive right now, and Pop Rocks were discontinued in 1983.
Obviously, the crickly crackly candy came back, and people are still scared of exploding stomachs, even though Mythbusters tried to put and end to the false rumor.
Even Rhett & Link from Good Mythical Morning debunked the myth:
Maybe the thought of a candy that comes alive is way too much for some people to fathom, but rest assured, you cannot die from eating Pop Rocks. Well, I mean, there's always diabetes and a potential slow death, but your stomach definitely cannot explode with the candy.