Claim: Rice should not be thrown at a newlywed couple because birds will eat the rice and explode due to the swelling of the rice.
Although it is true that rice absorbs water and swells, this myth doesn’t account for the fact that the absorption of water into rice is slow except at cooking temperatures. At the temperatures present in birds’ digestive systems, rice does not have time to swell enough to cause any harmbefore it passes through. In fact, one study done by a group of students from the University of Kentucky indicates that bird seed seems to swell more than rice (the study went on to bust this myth once and for all when the students fed 60 of their professor’s doves and pigeons a diet of rice to show the rice causes no ill effects).
Even though rice doesn’t pose any risk to birds, it isn’t entirely safe to throw at weddings. Rice can make hard floors and sidewalks a slipping hazard for wedding guests.