Park rangers are typically tasked with keeping visitors safe from the local flora or fauna (and vice versa). But with a viral video this week, the rangers at Utah’s Zion National Park helped raise awareness about a more clear and present danger: The sun.
Climate researchers are calling July 2023 the hottest month in recorded history, and Zion’s park rangers really drove that point home: They were able to bake a sheet of cookies simply by leaving them on the dashboard of a car.
Watch the full video, which the Environmental Defense Fund reshared on TikTok, below:
Freshly baked cookies, anyone? Zion National Park rangers chose a creative (and delicious) way to show how brutal the heat has gotten at the Utah park — by baking cookies in a parked car. According to the park, “Zion temperatures have been hitting triple digits (over 38° C) consistently for the past few weeks, and forecasts are predicting it will stay hot for a while. To further prove how hot it is, we baked the cookies on a day without a heat wave!” #climatechange
In the post, the rangers explain their methodology and note that local temperatures “have been hitting triple digits … consistently for the past few weeks,” which means that the heat inside a car can reach up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Not ones to let an opportunity pass by, they lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and set some cookie dough out to bake on the dashboard.
The process apparently took about three hours, but sure enough, the rangers ended up with a sheet full of edible cookies. In fact, they noted that the batch came out “a little crunchy.”
The video goes on to show happy rangers munching on the results of the successful experiment, along with a warning not to leave children or pets on hot cars. As if the cookies weren’t proof enough, the voiceover casually notes that they couldn’t take an exact temperature reading from inside the car because the thermometer they placed there actually melted.
This stunt might lead many to wonder if the old adage is true: Can you actually fry an egg on the sidewalk if the sun gets hot enough? Despite many misleading TikTok videos, science says it isn’t likely. Still, that hasn’t stopped eccentric cooks in Oatman, Arizona from trying in their annual sidewalk egg frying competition.