‘Floor is Lava’: What Exactly is in the ‘Lava’?

Floor is Lava is one of the latest Netflix original series to become a viral sensation on social media. It’s an obstacle course competition like you’ve seen before, but it has a gimmick that sets it apart from similar shows. When a contestant falls off the course, he or she doesn’t just land on the floor or in water. Instead, each losing contestant falls into lava — or what is supposed to be lava. It looks like lava, but obviously it’s not real because that wouldn’t be fun for the contestants. So what exactly is in the lava?

'Floor Is Lava'
Floor is Lava | Patrick Wymore/Netflix

Netflix series Floor is Lava

Floor is Lava premiered on Netflix on June 19, 2020. The first season of the series, which is based on a children’s game of the same name, features 10 episodes that each run between 25 and 37 minutes. Each episode features teams competing against one another to get as many members of the team as possible to the exit of the room. The team that has the most competitors complete the course is declared the winner. In the event of a tie, the team that finishes in a faster time wins the competition. The winning team earns the $10,000 cash prize and a lava lamp.

Floor is Lava host Rutledge Wood

The program is hosted by auto racing analyst and TV personality Rutledge Wood. Prior to hosting Floor is Lava, he was probably most well-known for hosting an American version of popular British motoring series Top Gear. He has also served as a NASCAR analyst for both Fox Sports and NBC Sports. The 40-year-old Wood also competes in auto racing events in celebrity divisions. In 2013, he won the Long Beach Toyota Celebrity Race.

What is in the lava on Floor is Lava?

RELATED: ‘Floor is Lava’: There are Over 100,000 Gallons of ‘Lava’ in the Course

So we know it’s not really lava on Floor is Lava, but what is it? Newsweek explains that it is actually a form of slime. Unlike the green slime that has been a staple of Nickelodeon’s programming for decades, the slime used on Floor is Lava is red. The revelation of the lava being slime was made by producer Irad Eyal in an interview with Fast Company. In the chat, Eyal said producers “tasked Hollywood’s number-one slime manufacturing lab with coming up with the proprietary blend and then ordered more slime than any show had ever produced—close to 100,000 gallons.” Eyal wouldn’t reveal the actual recipe used in making the slime but shared an anecdote that the showrunner quipped it’s the closest thing to Panda Express orange sauce.

What could be the specific ingredients?

To get an idea of what could be in the slime, Newsweek recalled information about Nickelodeon’s slime. You Can’t Do That on Television, which was one of the network’s first shows to feature slime, made its green stuff out of cream of wheat, green food coloring, cooking oil, and baby shampoo. Longtime host of Double Dare, which is probably the show most associated with green slime, has revealed that the classic game show made its slime from a mixture of “vanilla pudding, applesauce, green food coloring, and a little oatmeal.”

Much of the TV slime used today is mostly a thickener called hydroxyethylcellulose, which is also used to make thick sauce in certain fruit pies. Other types of slime are made from cornstarch mixed with water and then dyed with a non-toxic colorant to make the slime look like whatever color the show is aiming for. One common thread between all of these formulas is they are non-toxic, which makes it safe in case people actually swallow some of it. So if any of the Floor is Lava contestants accidentally inhale some of the lava when falling into it, it is not a danger to them.