She talked about going to the beach and said (time stamp https://youtu.be/OnjzKmc6sCI?t=41)

if you'd like to have an extra arm or lose an arm

What does that mean, is she talking the danger in the sea?

  • It doesn't have any special or unobvious meaning. For reasons I don't understand, she is talking literally about having an extra arm. I have no idea what she means.
    – Colin Fine
    Feb 13, 2020 at 23:03
  • @ColinFine when she said "lose an arm", is she talking literally about losing an arm? Is she talking the danger in the sea?
    – brennn
    Feb 13, 2020 at 23:08
  • No, I don't think she can be talking about danger in the sea, because she says "or an extra arm". I repeat, I have no idea what she means. Maybe it's something Canadian.
    – Colin Fine
    Feb 13, 2020 at 23:19
  • Bizarre. I have no idea what she means. I’m thinking about it being very cold (your arm drops off?) or being attacked by something, but nothing fits. Feb 13, 2020 at 23:42

1 Answer 1


The following hints at a likely explanation for the video’s apparently bizarre claim that swimming in Lake Ontario may cause you to “have an extra arm or lose an arm”.

Lake Ontario may be the most polluted out of the five Great Lakes. All of the other lakes flow into it, giving it their pollution. It also receives runoff from farms and businesses around it...

It seems it has a reputation for being polluted and dangerous for swimming, although various other sources dismiss that claim, citing water tests that show pollution levels are acceptable. The Canadian woman’s choice of words is a joke based on the urban myth that pollutants cause mutations such as extra/missing limbs.

It is still a very odd thing to say and odd way of saying it - even the urban myth says children will be born with mutations rather than acquire them after a swim. But that nevertheless seems to be the explanation for this usage.

  • As I said, "Maybe it's something Canadian". Thank you for finding this explanation, which seems likely to be right.
    – Colin Fine
    Feb 14, 2020 at 12:30
  • Yep. Who’d have thought it, eh? (That’s my bad attempt at a Canadian accent in writing!) Feb 14, 2020 at 13:53

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