Trivia: Can You Really Get Your Tongue Stuck to a Flagpole?

'A Christmas Story' Myth #1: Can You Really Get Your Tongue Stuck to a Flagpole?

Short Answer: Yes.

Longer Answer: We all remember the scene where the kids triple-dog dare Flick to stick his tongue to a flagpole. He does it, but then gets it stuck and has to wait for the fire department to come to help him remove it. But why, exactly, does it get stuck?

FromĀ Life's Little Mysteries:

"Your tongue is covered with moisture, which begins to freeze if its temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Your body counteracts the freezing by pumping warm blood to your tongue.

Heat from your blood warms the moisture through a process called conduction. Heat energy from the blood excites atoms in your tongue. The atoms absorb energy and vibrate. The more they vibrate, the more their temperatures increase. This incites vibrations in neighboring atoms, which take the energy and pass it up the line like a hot potato and eventually warms the surface moisture.

As your tongue touches the flagpole, the moisture on your tongue is robbed of heat. The temperature of the moisture drops. Water freezes inside tiny pores and surface irregularities on your tongue and the pole. You're stuck."

That's not stopping kids from trying it at home.


Solution: Pour warm water on the point where the tongue meets the pole. It will unfreeze enough to allow you remove the tongue without injury. In a pinch, someone can also spit on that juncture point as well. While that sounds well and truly disgusting, it is conceivable that pee would also work.... but I wouldn't want to test either. šŸ˜‰


Happy Holidays Everyone!

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