Gross Skin-Looking Thing Found In Vitamin Water

Jenny writes:

I was just drinking a bottle of Vitamin Water and there was a really gross thing in it. Industrial byproduct? Paper? Human skin? (See attached photos) Any ideas as to how I can figure out what the thing is and if its contact with my tongue is going to kill me? I have emailed the company.

What the heck is that thing?! Another picture, held aloft to the light, inside…



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  1. v12spd says:

    *puts down bottle of vitamin water and gags a little*

    *resumes drinking because its so delicious*

  2. RAREBREED says:

    That’s disgusting. I buy a case of Vitamin Water from Costco every two or three weeks (ok, so I buy two cases every two or three weeks), and last week I grabbed a bottle and headed out to class. In class, I pulled it out of my backpack, placed it on the table, then noticed that it was only just under the date stamp!! It was still sealed, but I figured if it tasted weird at all, I’d dump it. It did (it was really bitter), and I dumped it. I’ve gone through countless cases of Vitamin Water this year alone, and that one disgusting bottle was enough for me to stop buying cases and start buying bottles on sale, just so I could inspect them first.

  3. Echomatrix says:

    why is it more wet in the second picture? Whats it taste like? lol

    Maybe dried up vita-mix?

  4. badgerette says:

    Oh. The. Horror. Any chance it’s a sheet of slime mold? Something that may have built up in the processing equipment? Do you have a local college or university with a biologist who might be curious as well?

  5. parad0x360 says:

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers…Jesus thats disgusting looking.

    If i ever saw that in a product I would NEVER buy it again no matter what they said it was. I have never drank Vitamin Water because…well I’d rather just have plain water and get my Vitamins the old fashion way via Food..after seeing this I will never sample it if given the chance. Nasty!

  6. Galls says:

    The real question is who is dumb enough to drink water at a %1000 mark up?

  7. goodkitty says:

    Now you know where the vitamins come from… it’s PEOPLE!

  8. ptkdude says:

    Yeah, ever since their “Try Sperm” commercial, I stay away from VitaminWater (not that I drank it before then).

  9. spryte says:

    Man, I just threw up in my mouth a little.

    I would find some scientist-type person to do tests on that thing and find out what the crap it is.

    I can’t stop scrolling up and looking at it. It’s like driving by a car wreck….

  10. Tzepish says:

    It looks like some sort of flesh leaf. Like, it fell from a meat tree.

  11. Rando says:

    How did you not see that?

  12. amx1978 says:

    See? This is why I stick with Soylent brand nutritional flavored waters.

  13. 8abhive says:

    My guess is it’s the remains of whatever medication the victim ingested right before deciding to blow their cash on the grand-daddy of marketing scams (bottled water – oh, but this has vitamins! (so does Captain Crunch)). Jeezus people, catch a clue!

  14. timmus says:

    Ten years ago I found chewed chewing gum in a can of cherry 7-up. That marked the end of another chapter of brand loyalty.

  15. QueenHawkeye says:

    Ew. Just ew. No wonder VitaminWater tastes nasty.

  16. martyz says:

    You should contact Vitamin Water and demand that they stop putting vaginas in their beverages.

  17. SOhp101 says:

    Looks like it’s a mix between the corn syrup and misc. ingredients that happened to stick onto the caps.

  18. Hepcephus says:

    That’s the vitamin.

  19. fileunder says:

    pickled ginger? (great, now i want to get me some yellowtail)

  20. mikepark says:

    It looks pretty gross and I wouldn’t drink it, but I would guess that it’s probably some unmixed ingredients.

    Also, I wouldn’t really consider Vitaman Water to be bottled water. It’s flavored and sweetened, so it’s more like a uncarbonated soft drink.

  21. velvetjones says:

    For real, looks like Mother of Vinegar.

  22. bsankr says:

    @martyz: can’t believe it took fifteen comments to hit that one. right on.

  23. SuffolkHouse says:

    Looks like a labia.

  24. canerican says:

    Looks like a piece of a latex glove (most likely a “finger” of the glove. If it sat in there for a while it could have absorbed some of the dye.

  25. ObtuseGoose says:

    Isn’t that the thing that attacked Spock in “Operation: Annihilate!”

  26. Thoria says:

    I agree with @Fileunder, it looks like pickled ginger, and makes me hungry for sushi.

  27. cloudedice says:

    Whatever you do, if the company wants you to send it to them for “testing,” don’t. Have it tested by a laboratory you hire. If you send it in, don’t expect to ever hear about it again.

  28. Chris H says:

    Vitamin water is a total scam. Don’t waste your money on it. You don’t need to take vitamins, unless your doctor (not some witch/altie doctor) tells you to.

  29. nickripley says:

    50 Cent owns at least part of vitamin water… maybe it’s a scab from one of his bullet holes?

  30. workingonyourinvoice says:

    @martyz: Or start putting in more.

    Couldn’t resist.

  31. Sam2k says:

    It looks kinda like lettuce or cabbage.

  32. kenboy says:

    Mmmmm, planaria.

  33. krunk4ever says:

    That reminds of the layer of film that forms with most thick liquids (i.e. congee or clam chowder) after it rests for some time and begins to cool down.

  34. Skyoodpov says:

    Its quite clearly a brainslug. They seem to have targeted you for some reason. Wear a hat you trust for a few days and they should lose interest.

  35. aasneuro says:

    Good lord, it’s sediment and sugar. Get over it.

  36. shibainu33 says:

    I would say pickled ginger…Got any vitamin sushi?

  37. parad0x360 says:

    @martyz: I was thinking the same damn thing lol but i went with the body snatchers instead. either way, nasty.

  38. arkangel318 says:

    Oh gross!

    I’ve seen stuff settle at the bottom of drinks before, but I’ve never seen a case where it could be removed in one piece! I wonder how old that is?

    (note to self: stay away from that brand)

  39. hills says:

    Is that the va-jay-jay flavor?!

  40. Jack Page says:

    Have you poked it yet?

    … did it move?

  41. hobbang says:

    I remember once during high school I found a lock of hair in my Snapple. Haven’t really drank Snapple as often as I used to.

  42. jasonko says:

    ummm… this i really weird but I have got a bottle of vitamin water that I kept just in case i died after drinking it.

    It is a different brand from the label in the pic but has a similar problem.

    I drank half the bottle in the car and then got disgusted with my mouth full of what felt like soggy toilet paper. I spit it all out. There was crap in the bottle. When i got back to the car after work all the crap was gone – weird. It was warm in the car tho. I kept the bottle for a week and then the crap returned and is now taking on a color suspicously close the the stuff in the picture. There is a giant clump in there now.

    What is this crap? I could send a photo to the poster if you give me an email, still have the bottle.

  43. gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

    apparently soylent green is vitamin water. Actually though I tend to agree with another poster saying it was slime. My aunt has one of those water dispensers and if she doesn’t clean it out on a regular basis it gets some junk like that in the innards of the dispenser. Blechh either way though. To the slime shiyat and to vitamin water. I prefer plain tap water.

  44. tinyrobot says:

    That’s totally a fungal/bacterial Pellicle. Basically, your drink was contaminated/tainted with a bunch of microbes which went bananas eating the sugars in your VW, and grew like crazy on the surface of the liquid where the oxygen concentration would be greatest. Kinda like making Kombucha – Vitamin Watercha?

    It’s been spoiled, essentially.

  45. rouftop says:

    I know it’s not your shtick, but could we get a unicorn chaser over here anyway?

  46. bobbiac says:

    @tinyrobot: really? heh .. looks like a flatworm to me.

  47. dirtymoney says:


    I’d have it tested & if it turned out to be human flesh?…… KA-CHING!$!$!$!$!$!$!$!

  48. ginnylavender says:

    Soylent Green

  49. LAGirl says:

    oh for F*CKS sake. that is just nasty. will NEVER drink Vitamin Water now.

  50. omgyouresexy says:

    lepers need jobs too :P

  51. brainologist says:

    I seriously doubt it’s human flesh. Skin (of the sparsely-pigmented variety) gets that crayola-typical pink/peach flesh color from capillaries carrying oxygenated blood through it. If you’ve ever had skin come off (say, after a sunburn), you know that the surface layers of skin really aren’t pink at all — especially not the color shown in the photographs here. This is true for skin immediately removed from the body — imagine also flesh that’s been removed long enough to have gone through packaging and sat sealed in a bottle for many weeks, where it would have rapidly lost any life-like color shown here.

    I have two hypotheses as to what it might be:
    1) Some unmixed portion of the ingredients (e.g. cornsyrup and flavoring powder, as SOhp101 mentioned) — although I was unable to find the ingredients online to make a more specific guess, or
    2) A by-product of the bottling / manufacturing process: e.g. glue, lubricant, or insulation of some sort.

  52. Falconfire says:

    hey isnt that the flying egg thingys that was in that episode of Star Trek? You know the one where they blinded Spock.

  53. Bay State Darren says:

    @Falconfire: See ObtuseGoose‘s comment. But yeah, I’m very relieved I’m not the only trekkie who thought of that. [And neither of you get to deny being a trekkie, your comments in this thread prove otherwise.]

  54. drjayphd says:

    Eh, just some cartilage from David Ortiz’s knee. The promotion was part of his contract with Vitamin Water, don’t’cha know.

  55. banks says:

    As previous commenters have suggested, this is almost certainly a bacterial slime – very similar to a mother of vinegar. As the bacteria feed on the nutrients in the vitamin water, they produce a carbohydrate support system, which forms the odd looking membrane. Although the bacteria that make old wine into vinegar are mostly harmless, there can be no guarantee that this particular slime contains only harmless bacteria, or indeed only bacteria – as a previous poster noted, it could well also support fungi.

  56. MariSama44 says:

    Listen to the scientists, people. Please.

  57. dannyboo says:

    Oh, There it is. I’ve been looking for that piece. It fell off my face during the packaging process. I’m also missing a piece of my toe nail. That’s what happen when you get old.

  58. NoWin says:

    Taze it. See if it reacts.

  59. l0stn0tfound says:

    OMG! I just opened a bottle before reading this… Nothing on my cap thank god, but still. Ughhhh

  60. Kierst_thara says:

    So, Ben, now that you’ve grossed us all out, is Consumerist going to help Jenny get that thing to a lab somewhere for testing? Because otherwise it’s sort of like that woman with her acidic flip-flops. Wild speculation (and victim bashing) are not as helpful to other consumers as discovering the actual issue at hand and encouraging the company to address it is.

  61. graphikartistry says:


    That is the coolest metaphor ever! I want a meat tree… and a pony.

  62. PikaPikaChick says:

    I’ve found that stuff in a bottle of cran-apple juice that sat in the fridge too long. It’s just bacteria or fungus. Either way it points to poor quality control and a refund is in order.

  63. Klink says:

    @goodkitty: It’s clearly Vitamin Water Purple, not Soyle- I mean, Vitamin Water Green, which is people.

  64. Red_Eye says:

    Pure water = low growth medium, not much can live on water alone in an airless environment.

    Vitamin water = petri dish in fluid form, add bacteria and watch things grow.

    You’ve got a good growth medium there, plenty of water and vitamins and minerals. It’s not surprising in millions of bottles of this that one shows up that a bacteria snuck into and grew.

  65. Groovymarlin says:

    I don’t know what it is but I tend to buy the out-of-control growth of bacterial slime theory.

    That being said, this post is seriously challenging my gag reflex. Gah!

  66. UESC says:


    i would really have that analyzed, perhaps there’s a chemical lab that would be willing to help?

  67. erratapage says:

    Grossest thing I’ve ever seen online. I’m glad I only drink beverages that could act as solvents.

  68. lotides says:

    Good luck. They’re owned by Coca-Cola now, one of the largest corporations in the world. And they don’t have a department suited for this type of situation.

  69. Pinget says:

    That looks like sushi ginger. Still doesn’t belong in a drink, but not as gross as “human skin”.

  70. jchabotte says:


  71. Canadian Impostor says:

    The bacteria theory is probably correct. I feel nauseous just looking at that thing.

  72. realwx says:

    Which is why I drink Propel instead of Vitamin Water.

  73. Benevolent_Dictatrix (patently absurd) says:

    Someone who is really hung over, that’s who.

    -Jenny from the Post

  74. Benevolent_Dictatrix (patently absurd) says:

    I tend to think it was option A, some kind of congealed ingredients that happened to look like a chunk of corpse.

    For those who think it is a slime mold, it wasn’t floating on top of the beverage or stuck to the cap like that. I drank about the half the bottle and was chugging away, when all of a sudden that thing was stuck to my tongue. I stuck it on the lid because it was the closest surface. Does that change your analysis?

  75. NightSteel says:

    The only other possibility I see is that it might have been a cardboard-ish seal that was under the lid. It could have fallen out, into the drink, and marinated there for quite some time. I think the folks who say it’s a bacterial film are probably right, though.

  76. Benevolent_Dictatrix (patently absurd) says:

    That’s exactly what they asked me to do! When I told them “Hell no!” they sent me two coupons for free bottles of Vitamin Water. (Which I will NOT use. Ew.)
    I decided not to pursue it further because I wasn’t injured by the Gross Thing other than the loss of a bottle of Vitamin Water, so a lawsuit would probably be pretty fruitless.

  77. elf6c says:

    Take tap water, add a massive heap of cheap sweetener, food coloring, fake chemical flavors, and minimum amount of unneeded vitamins. Advertise to the gullible masses. Charge a staggering amount per bottle.

    Roll in giant money pile.

  78. banks says:

    The position of the slime within the liquid isn’t particularly relevant to the identification of the object as a slime or pellicle. While a pellicle, almost by definition, forms as a surface layer, slimes can form as sheets or streamers within the liquid, float to the top, sink to the bottom, or retain approximately neutral buoyancy.

    Additionally, the location of the object upon purchase/consumption has little relationship to the position of formation – it is highly possible that the object formed as a surface layer, and was subsequently subsumed into the liquid by agitation upon handling and shipping.

  79. brainologist says:

    There’s an easy way to test and see if it’s alive — remove a part of it, put it in a nutrient-rich environment, and see if you get more of it. If it grows, then it’s probably bacteria. If it stays the same (and doesn’t die!) then it’s probably not alive.

  80. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    One word: Flukeman. []

  81. jtkooch says:

    Bah, its just the material they use for the gasket on the underside of the lid.

    Normally it’s so thin that it appears translucent. But if its thick enough you get a color.

    Soaking in sugary liquid for months and held in just the right light for a photo doesn’t help its appearance.

  82. MauriceReeves says:

    Dammit, I was going to say Flukeman…argh…I would like to point out that Vitamin Water is not loaded with artificial sweeteners or corn syrup, still, it is a great medium for growing bacteria.

    I think if you put a call into your local college someone in the science department can at least point you in the right direction for a testing lab. That being said, if you plan to sue, it might be test to talk to a lawyer first. Taking it yourself to a lab might damage your case.

  83. UpsetPanda says:

    ugggh that’s just disgusting…any appetite that I have for the next 6 hours is gone. Ugh.

  84. neotexan says:

    You should contact the FDA about it, hopefully they will check it out. []

  85. aeix says:

    I was drinking a bottle of Coke’s alternative to Gatorade (can’t remember the name), got about half way through chugging it and noticed some cloudy, transparent masses hovering at the bottom. I immediately stopped drinking. Called Coke and they asked me to send it to them for testing. I got a report back that it was some sort of anaerobic mold. I considered some sort of legal action because whether by psychosomatic or real effect, my throat burned the rest of the day and I felt sick, but no lasting damage that I’m aware of. One co-worker with a degree in biology said it’s probably no worse than any of the other mold we ingest without knowing it.

  86. Shred says:

    paper towel?

    and i don’t drink vitamin water for the vitamins. i drink it when i want a sweet beverage and there’s no real juice around. unlike, say, gatorade, vitamin water isn’t sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. it’s also not as sweet as a lot of sweet beverages, and i like that.

    not as good as water. better than soda.

  87. fadingdots says:

    @Shred: What do you think crystalline fructose is?

  88. spookyooky says:

    Didn’t that crawl in the Chekov’s ear in Wrath of Khan?

    Kirk shouts, “Vitamin Waterrrrrrrrr!!!!!”

  89. MargoPear says:

    Wow, if the empty calories and sugars didn’t already turn you off from vitamin water this should definitely do the trick. That’s quite disgusting! I stay away from it all together – when you read the label you realize that it’s not the “healthy” beverage that it claims to be.

  90. FuriousGeorge160 says:

    it looks like, once upon a time it was a paper seal on the inside of the lid, but I don’t think that vitamin Water uses those kinds of things…
    The sludge that builds in the top of the orange ones is almost as disturbing though…

  91. holcombj says:

    Jenny- have you heard back from them? I have a similar situation- just curious what they’ve said to you if they’ve contacted you.

  92. steverandiejr says:

    Is completely right. I was having a hard time staying awake in some of my finals last spring so I got to try a vitamin water as I don’t like to drink caffine too much… total life saver.

  93. steverandiejr says:

    Vitamin water good and healthy!!!

  94. JANIS38 says:

    I definitly choose VITAMIN WATER, is really delicios i always trying in the morning to start my day feeling good!

  95. M.C. Carrington says:

    so what!!! no one cares…thats one bottle out of millions i have drank 100s of vitamin waters and nothing has EVER been in one of mine

  96. lakesidekelly says:

    I googled “slime swallowed in vitamin water” and found this post. I bought a bottle and while driving in the dark,. I took two big swigs and on the second swallow, blahhhh. Something was in my mouth, adhering to my mouth. I couldn’t spit it out and had to take my fingers and scoop around and swat it out, half gaging… still driving. Ewww, totally gross. When I got to my destination, it was finally light and I examined the bottle. It held a ball of slime that didn’t disapate when shaken. Parts were cloudy and some sections were more clear. It is the size of about a golf ball that is almost suspended (doesn’t quickly fall to the bottom when you flip the bottle over) Again, ew! Makes you wonder what we put in our bodies without knowing. Anyone else find slime?