Aug 25, 2023 - Things to Do

Axios NWA does: Fried-egg myth cracked

How it started. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

Worth here with an installment of our experiential reporting.

As a boy I was struck by the phrase, "It's hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk."

  • What a visual it conjured.
  • But I never actually tried.

My scientific self struggled with my inner child as I set out to check this myth.

  • "Crack it!" one said.
  • "Take notes," said the other.

The set up: At 3:30pm, I went to a parking lot paved in asphalt to ensure the hottest surface. It was 98 degrees with a heat index of 110 degrees.

  • My surface thermometer registered the spot at 151 degrees.
  • I used a Mason jar ring to contain the mess and, optimistically, took a spatula.

The egg had 7 minutes in direct sunlight, on a surface too hot to sit on.

The verdict: Nada. There's egg on my face, so to speak.

  • The frying pan I use typically gets to about 350 degrees so my test didn't stand a chance.
How it's going. Photo: Worth Sparkman/Axios

Yes, but: My boyhood self still believes it's possible. I can't help thinking that maybe I picked a day and time that wasn't hellish enough.

  • Maybe someplace out West …

The bottom line: Just because it won't fry an egg, the sidewalk is not safe for dogs' paws, writes Axios Atlanta's Kristal Dixon.

  • The full extent of Fido's injuries could appear after returning home — or even a day after a walk, one vet told Kristal.

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