Corrections and clarifications: An earlier version of this story misstated the nature of Danielle Albers' injuries. She suffered second- and third-degree burns.
Danielle and Chad Albers just wanted to entertain the kids.
With temperatures Monday at 10-degrees below zero and wind chills nearing 50-below throughout the Midwest, videos of T-shirts freezing in minutes, boiling water evaporating in the air and eggs freezing solid ran in a loop on television and online, and spread rapidly across social media.
Late that afternoon, the Albers decided to try a handful of the sub-zero experiments themselves.
"We thought it would be something fun for us to do before supper," Chad Albers said.
First, they filled balloons with food coloring and held them outside for just long enough to turn the liquid into little colored ice pellets to show to their children, ages 3 and 8.
Next, they filled a pot with about two cups of boiling water and set a bottle of children's bubbles by the door. They'd planned to throw the water up and watch it vaporize, then blow bubbles and watch them freeze in the air.
When Danielle Albers went outside and stood in front of her picture window, her children watched as she began to heave the water into the air.
"As I was throwing it, I slipped on the ice and the water went up," Danielle Albers said. "It went all over my neck and down my back."
She started rolling in the snow to soothe the sting, but when she came inside and started taking off her clothes, her family saw serious burns. Despite living just blocks from Sanford Hospital's emergency room, she couldn't drive herself.
"I couldn't drive," she said. "I was in too much pain."
Albers sustained second- and third-degree burns along her neck and back. Large, yellow blisters had bubbled up across her lower back.
The Albers weren't alone, either in testing the limits of the ultra-low temperatures or in being hurt in the process.
Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Pearce and BuzzFeed reporter Adrian Carrasquilla spent parts of Monday and Tuesday using Twitter to track down cases of burns sustained by throwing boiling water in the cold.
Pearce got curious about the boiling water trend when a friend from his native Missouri tweeted that the boiling water experiment was trending on the social media site.