The newest Netflix game show, Floor Is Lava, is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a televised version of that free game we all played as children, where we pretended the ground was, well, lava, and tried to hop, skip, and jump from furniture to furniture, or whatever elevated thing there was, so that we wouldn't "fall in."
The streaming platform's latest game show watches teams navigate larger-than-life obstacle courses in a house's different "rooms," swinging from bars and hopping from chair to chair so as not to fall into the hot "lava," which a producer has revealed is red slime.
"Floor Is Lava is basically Crystal Maze meets Total Wipeout meets Gladiators, except the floor is made of lava," writes Netflix's official account.
If your team manages to get through all of the rooms of the obstacle course, there's a grand prize of $10,000. But every time a player loses and falls into the lava, they vanish, leaving the rest of their team horrified and aghast.
So, where do they go when they fall into the lava?
No one is more perplexed by where the contestants go when they fall into the lava lakes than viewers on Twitter. "WHERE DOES THE PERSON GO WHEN THEY FALL IN," demanded one person, while another commended how convincingly the show was edited. "I really like how #FloorIsLava on Netflix is edited to make it look like people disappear forever once they enter the lava," wrote another.
One thing is for sure: When a contestant falls into the lava, it's up to the rest of their team members to finish the level on their own, with the added pressure of avenging their fallen teammate and hoping they don't succumb to the same fiery fate.
Remaining players act like their teammate has drowned or died in the lava, and the show has remained impressively tight-lipped about where the losers go.
One theory that's been circulating the internet is that "some underwater scuba team" whisks players who have fallen into the lava away, or that contestants who fall are pulled into a lower room from below the set. But that seems extremely unlikely, as The Cinemaholic writes, considering "such a maneuver is almost impossible to pull off for a simple reason that if there's any hole inside the room, it will also start emptying the lava — even if the hole opens for a few seconds."
This leads us to the Occam's razor ("the simplest solution is almost always the right one") theory of Floor Is Lava, which is that it's all a matter of editing. Viewers will notice the repeated playbacks of the fall and other cuts after a player succumbs to the lava, and many think that producers pull the person out of the red slime before continuing the game.
Of course, viewers never see this behind-the-scenes moment and are left scratching their heads wondering if the lava is actually real and the players have incinerated on contact.
Oh, the wonders of video editing! Stream Floor Is Lava on Netflix today.