Contrary to claims by many online media and blogs, both in and outside Nigeria, that a Russian laboratory has discovered a new mixture of chemicals that can change a black man’s skin to white in six hours, some facts have emerged.
Laila’s blog, other popular sites reported that with a mixture which includes oxytane and benzodiazepine, one could stay in a bath consisting of 50 grams per liter for 6 hours. The results were presented in the form of a photo (see below):
One of the black men being used to experiment the new discovery
The reports stated that after this process, the skin peels off naturally, especially the upper skin layer responsible for the colour that can be removed. The laboratory further announced that 254 people have been treated by this method, noting that the Russian government may soon allow the reimbursement of this treatment.
These claims were based on absolutely nothing. Starting from the fact that the Moscow Faculty of Sciences does not exist, finishing to the fact that the mentioned chemical formula makes no sense.
According to snopes.com, a community that specialise in finding and explaining rumours, the viral report was false and the exact origin of both the text and the image remain uncertain.
The controversial photo appeared in 2012 on Reddit as an image-based warning on the dangers of falling asleep at the beach (a far likelier explanation for the photograph than a demonstration of skin-whitening).
Therefore, an old and unrelated picture was also re-purposed as evidence for a dubious medical claim.