Clemson University researchers found that beer pong balls may carry dangerous bacteria, The Associated Press reported.
The balls collected by student researchers from parties over one weekend found salmonella, listeria, E. coli and staph, according to the AP. The study found a high level of bacteria transferred to the beer when balls went into cups.
For those unaccustomed to drinking games of the youth, beer pong is played by tossing ping pong balls across a table into cups of beer (sort of like the bucket game from Bozo the Clown). If one lands a ball in a cup, their opponent must drink the beer from the cup.
Oh you mean those balls that get touched by hundreds of college students a night? Those round pieces of plastic that are rolled around in countless hands and bounce on disgusting frat house floors, sometimes rolling under the couch or into the bathroom? Those things are dirty you say?
A hoax spread on the Internet in 2009 linked beer pong to herpes. That rumor started with news outlets picking up a fake story from a humor website, before it was eventually debunked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There is a small amount of good news for any devoted beer pong players: sickness is not guaranteed.
"Ninety percent of bacteria are probably harmless," Clemson food science professor Paul Dawson told the AP. "But by virtue of sheer numbers, you're taking a chance of getting sick."
Earlier on HuffPost:
Ohio University -- Palmer Fest
Oh, did we forget to mention that Ohio University is ranked as a <a href="http://www.thebestcolleges.org/2012-princeton-review-party-school-rankings/" target="_hplink">top party school</a>? Because it totally is! In addition to their Halloween party, they also host the wild and crazy <a href="http://www.thecollegetownlife.com/2011/ohio-university-palmer-fest-2011/" target="_hplink">Palmer Fest</a>. Palmer Fest occurs in May and has been described as a "<a href="http://bustedcoverage.com/2009/05/13/2009-ohio-university-palmer-fest-was-a-giant-drunken-rioting-mud-wrestling-good-time/" target="_hplink">Giant Drunken, Rioting, Mud Wrestling Good Time</a>." A <a href="http://www.facebook.com/events/127856217272457/" target="_hplink">Facebook event </a>for Palmer Fest 2011 listed it as "Live Music! Also, Live fires!"
Iowa State University -- VEISHEA
Every April, Iowans make the annual pilgrimage to Ames for the VEISHEA festival, a week-long event to celebrate the different colleges at Iowa State University. There are parades, a battle of the bands, large concerts and performances by comedians. Everyone from John Wayne, Diana Ross, Billy Joel, to the Goo Goo Dolls and The Black Eyed Peas have performed. Oh, and the students <a href="http://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/article_b173152c-5edb-11e0-8339-001cc4c002e0.html" target="_hplink">party</a> around the clock for <a href="http://www.iowastatedaily.com/special_sections/article_9659cd7c-57dc-11e0-8b07-001cc4c03286.html" target="_hplink">most of the week</a>. Riots broke out in 1988, 1992 and 2004.
Ohio University -- Halloween
Every year, around 20,000 Ohio University students flood the streets of Athens for a <a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/sioncampus/11/01/halloween.ohiou/index.html" target="_hplink">massive</a> Halloween party.
McGill University -- Frosh Week
Frosh week, held at the beginning of the semester at McGill University in Montreal, is one one of the craziest parties in Canada! On <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/mcgill-university/204975-politically-incorrect-guide-mcgill-residences.html" target="_hplink">College Confidential message boards</a>, incoming students are warned to bring condoms. <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/2587698-post8.html" target="_hplink">One person explains</a>, "Frosh Week is the most awesome time ever. The amount of alcohol, drugs and sex available makes your best party ever look like a Sunday Church Picnic with senior citizens."
Yes, most big schools have alcohol-fueled tailgating before games. But not all of them get canceled for getting out of hand, as they did at Duke University in Durham, N.C. in the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/09/duke-tailgate-canceled_n_780941.html" target="_hplink">fall of 2010</a>.
Penn State -- State Patty's Day
Pennsylvania State University cannot wait until March 17 to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, so they have State Patty's Day in the interim. Students start drinking at 8:30 a.m. <em>in February</em> to celebrate Irish heritage. There is something to be said for early celebrations. Penn State knows how to party. <em>Playboy </em><a href="http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Penn-State-Party-School-Playboy-119795424.html" target="_hplink">ranked the State College school </a> as the No. 2 party school in 2011. The same year the Princeton Review ranked Penn State in the <a href="http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/harrisburg_politics/Penn-State-slips-in-party-school-rankings--.html" target="_hplink">top 10</a> for party schools. "Our town is a bar," said PSU student Meagan Foulk <a href="http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2009/04/30/students_surprised_by_psu_rank.aspx" target="_hplink">in a 2009 article. "Even the Ohio State <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lo7vgBupAw" target="_hplink">riot</a> was just one giant party downtown."
University Of Wisconsin-Madison -- Mifflin Street Block Party
The <a href="http://badgerherald.com/news/2005/04/28/history_of_the_miffl.php" target="_hplink">Mifflin Street Block Party</a> happens around finals time each year in Madison, Wisc. The annual block party actually started as a street protest in 1969. It continued through the Vietnam War, and became a community fundraiser by 1982. These days, it draws around 20,000 people who come to drink and celebrate the end of the spring semester.
Cornell University -- Slope Day
Cornell's Slope Day <a href="http://slopeday.cornell.edu/" target="_hplink">dates back</a> nearly a century. Festivities consist of a carnival and concerts; past performers have included Snoop Dogg, Duke Ellington, Kanye West, the Ramones, and Glenn Miller.
WashU -- W.I.L.D.
Washington University in St. Louis hosts an epic concert event called Walk In Lay Down, or more commonly known as <a href="http://team31.wustl.edu/" target="_hplink">W.I.L.D.</a> . Recent acts have included Guster and Ben Folds and, of course, wild parties.
Bates College -- "Throwback Night"
Every year, seniors at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine have a gigantic party called "<a href="http://bangordailynews.com/2011/11/02/news/court/four-sentenced-in-melee-at-bates-college/" target="_hplink">Throwback Night</a>" when seniors party with freshmen. In 2010, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/26/bates-college-party-11-ar_n_590605.html" target="_hplink">police used pepper spray</a> to clear out some rowdy partiers. <em>Paul Chiampa, of Pembroke, Mass., shows off some of the bruises on his leg that he claims Lewiston police officers caused, at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine on Wednesday, May 26, 2010. An incident involving students being arrested occurred the night before, where some students claim they were injured by police actions. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)</em>