These 100 Popsicles Are Made With Trash- And Sewage-Filled Water

©. Fotos593 /

The Polluted Water Popsicles project is meant to shock viewers into realizing how serious water contamination is in Taiwan.

Three university students in Taiwan have come up with an unusual way to draw attention to the huge problem of water pollution. As part of the Polluted Water Popsicles Project, the students traveled to 100 different locations throughout the country to collect water samples and turn them into frozen popsicles. These popsicles were then copied into 1:1 transparent polyresin models (non-melting!), packaged in beautiful wrappers, and labeled with their origin.

The resulting exhibit is profound and disturbing – seemingly delicious popsicles that, at a closer glance, are oddly colored (considering they’re just made from water) and filled with sewage and trash, most of which is plastic. You can see everything from bottle caps to bags to chopstick wrappers.

Why create such vile, yet beautiful, popsicles? The creators wrote on their Facebook page that their object is to “convey the importance of purified water.” This message is important for the entire world to hear, but it’s especially relevant in Taiwan right now. My Modern Met reports:

“As Taiwan has seen a rise in water pollution due to its rapid economic growth and urbanization, it was important for the students to call attention to the issue. In collecting water from central areas that people often pass by, but overlook, Polluted Water Popsicles forces us to face the insidious issues beneath what we perceive as harmless. Much as one is tempted to take a lick before looking closely at what the popsicle really contains, we often overlook the importance of water purity.”

The attractive wrappers, too, are a distraction from what lies beneath, a veil over the disturbing truth that things may look fine, but underneath the surface they’re not. Designboom writes:

“Each popsicle reveals the impressive contamination of the water through their wasteful flavors complete with plastic, metal, arsenic, mercury, and other harmful materials. The project generates a polarity between how good they look, how awful they may taste, and how damaging they are.”

You might never want another popsicle after looking closely at these, but if it sparks a passion for water conservation, it seems a small price to pay.