Did A TikToker Ruin His Suburb’s Sewerage By Filling His Bath With Orbeez? An Investigation

If a video looks too good to be true, that’s probably the case. French YouTuber Cyril Schreiner took it upon himself to fill his bathtub with thousands of Orbeez – the small, super-absorbent polymer pearls that online content creators apparently can’t get enough of. The twist is that he claims that he ended up destroying his neighborhood’s water pipes, but the evidence for this is dubious. Let’s investigate.

Orbeez are supposed to expand to over 100 times their size when put in water. Bathing in them has been a bit of a trend lately, and Schreiner hoped to jump on the bandwagon. But in his videos, the Orbeez appear to clog water and sewerage pipes throughout his neighbourhood.

The online personality posted the gradual chaos on TikTok, and then compiled it all into a single YouTube video. He says that because Orbeez are technically biodegradable, he assumed there’d be no issue when he decided to fill his toilet with them. Boy was he wrong.

Or so he claims. Plenty of other YouTubers have flushed Orbeez down their toilets and bathtubs, and yet none of them reported anything as severe as what Schreiner claims has happened.

He claims that the Orbeez appeared, fully expanded, in his toilet and sink even though he only put them in his bathtub. But in order to soak the Orbeez for the required few hours, he had to put a plug in the drain, which is visible towards the beginning of the video.

Even if the plug somehow became dislodged, water pipes are generally empty unless water is flowing, which it is not. So there’s no way that many Orbeez could soak and expand in the pipes, and then somehow expand upwards out of the bathroom sink.

Schreiner then attempts to vacuum up the mess, following the advice of his viewers. Catastrophe again ensues when smoke starts emanating from vacuum cleaner. The internal mechanisms of Schreiner’s specific vacuum cleaner are unclear, but water-filled gelatin pearls are an unlikely fire hazard. Viewers never get to see what’s just around the corner, which is the apparent source of the cigarette-like smoke. Interesting.

The video then escalates further when Schreiner’s “irate” neighbour supposedly finds Orbeez on her lawn. Schreiner modulates his voice from that trademark influencer shrill to more serious monotone. Credit where credit’s due, it’s just good acting.

Even if the bathtub drain was unplugged, and even if the pipes were full of still water, there simply were not enough Orbeez to expand that far out of Schreiner’s house. Something is definitely awry.

In the next installment, Schreiner again follows his viewers’ advice my pouring salt down the drain of his bathroom sink. Suddenly the video cuts to the next scene, where the Orbeez are no longer visible. When he turns the tap on, brown water erupts from the drain, as if someone were tampering with the pipe.

He then cuts to the street, where he shows a pile of mud-covered Orbeez which he says have escaped through a drain. The mud is a nice touch, but there’s no way Orbeez – which can be burst between your fingers – could lift up a metal drain cover while remaining intact.

Finally, Schreiner says he has received a letter from the local council saying that the police are on the hunt for the culprits. While the stationary looks pretty official and legit, the actual contents of the letter make no mention of a location. It doesn’t even mention a street or city. It’s either the work of a grossly inept local government official, or a TikToker who doesn’t want to share his home address.

Does this mean it’s advisable to fill your bathtub with Orbeez? Of course not. But just know that if you did for some reason decide to do it, you probably won’t be getting a letter from the council anytime soon.