The Wicked Witch of The West: Death By Water!


Hello and welcome to the last episode of fairyology! I’ve absolutely loved writing these blogs but I have to make way for new series in the new year.


Image result for wizard of oz

I thought I’d finish with one of my favourite stories of all time which is the Wonderful Wizard of Oz! It’s the classic tale of a girl named Dorothy alongside her dog Toto who explore the land of Oz. They go along a yellow brick road meeting various characters along the way and defeat the wicked witch of the west by throwing a bucket of water on her! They then get to go home back to Kansas! If you haven’t seen the film or read the book it is quite trippy but none the less a classic!

However we’re here to decode how someone might die from having a bucket of water thrown on them. Well lets first make the assumption that she did not choke on some inhaled water as she does notoriously scream out “I’m melting”. Image result for wicked witch of the westThis has led me to find one very rare disorder which could explain things and it’s called Aquagenic urticaria. This causes the skin to break out in itchy and painful white or red hives a few minutes after direct contact with water of any temperature. According to a study published in the journal Annals of Dermatology, fewer than 100 cases of aquagenic urticaria have been recorded in the scientific literature since the condition was first described in 1964. Because the condition is so rare there is little known about what causes it and why the reaction happens.

This condition could have made the witch feel as though she was melting when in fact if the water was removed the rash should fade within thirty to sixty minutes, nevertheless by this point Dorothy had clicked her heels and was home in Kansas!

And that brings fairyology to a close! Thank you for reading all my very weird and silly science!

More Fairyology 

ThatBiologist Everywhere!




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