Do Stupid Things, Win Stupid Prizes: “Severe Eye And Skin Injuries”

People actually turned over real cash in exchange for something called "Bored Ape NFTs" – basically cartoon pictures of a lethargic primate ...

ARS TECHNICA – Lamps emitting ultraviolet light in the corner of a Bored Ape NFT event in Hong Kong last Saturday are the likely cause of severe eye and skin injuries among attendees, according to Yuga Labs, the creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and host of the event.

The injuries reportedly occurred during “ApeFest,” a three-day annual meet-up of people who own Bored Ape NFTs—which sell for tens of thousands of dollars and, amid the 2021 NFT craze, saw highly inflated prices of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

However regretful, people who own the cryptocurrency-backed digital images of nonchalant cartoon primates are automatic members of the BAYC.

This year, their annual club event ran from November 3–5 and promised “mayhem” and “One big night full of surprises.”

In a post on X late Wednesday, Yuga Labs confirmed that UV exposure was “likely the cause” of the reports.

Soon after an ApeFest party Saturday night, some attendees reported severe pain and burning sensations in their eyes, as well as vision problems and skin irritation, according to Yuga Labs.

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Doctors and others on the Internet quickly speculated that the cause was UV exposure and photokeratitis (aka snow blindness, arc eye, or welder’s flash) …

BETH MOLE is Ars Technica’s Senior Health Reporter. Beth has a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and attended the Science Communication program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She specializes in covering infectious diseases, public health, and microbes.

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