Forums > Technical Discussion > Darwin awards: liquid nitrogen?

Login/Join to Participate
Page:
thatliagalSILVER Member
Member
4 posts
Location: USA


Posted:
So, y'all are going to love this (HYPOTHETICAL!!!) question. I was reading some stories from the Darwin Awards (awards for people who do things so stupid that they should be removed from the gene pool) and there was this story about this one dude who drank liquid nitrogen. He survived even though one of his lungs collapsed and his digestive system shut down... He then went on to detail how one of his chemistry classes had all held liquid nitrogen in their mouths and breathed ice crystals.... So, you know what I'm going to ask... has anyone ever breathed liquid nitrogen? Does this seem possible? And (most importantly) what would it look like?

SethisBRONZE Member
Pooh-Bah
1,762 posts
Location: York University, United Kingdom


Posted:
I think he's babbling nonsense. Liquid Nitrogen would snap your tongue off, and maybe explode your teeth. It's possible they were fooling around with another substance though, and he got confused (he seems to get confused easily... like thinking putting a liquid gas into his mouth is a good thing).
rolleyes

After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.


Suibomaddict
577 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
According to the story:

"While you can safely put it in your mouth, and blow neat smoke patterns, you should never ever ever swallow. First off, the closing of the

epiglottis prevents the nitrogen gas from escaping, so it is forced into your body instead."



https://www.ijmc.com/archives/1998/January/24January1998.html



Tho, absolutely stupid to try, regardless of whether there is any (doubtful) validity to the claim....

Definition of poi- A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.

Ahnold discussing poi - "It is naht a toober!"


simian110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
3,149 posts
Location: London


Posted:
i remember hearing that you can appear to hold liquid nitrogen in the palm of your hand, because it's actually floating on a cushion of the evaporating nitrogen.

i guess you could do it on your tongue too.

it would probably be quite cold.

"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."


pineapple peteSILVER Member
water based
5,125 posts
Location: melbourne, Australia


Posted:
i wonder what it'd taste like, provided it didnt freeze your tongue.

"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*


simian110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
3,149 posts
Location: London


Posted:
it'd taste quite like nitrogen i'd imagine. Fairly bland.

"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."


ducky2108A little bit of a board whore
147 posts
Location: Glasgow


Posted:
Technically, you can do this. Liquid nitrogen on the hand is pretty safe, provided there's not much of it. It does evaporate far too fast and does float on a bit of a cushion of air. It's only dangerous when you hols it next to the skin, such as it soaking into fabric. It's one of the reasons way you shouldn't wear woolly gloves when handling any cryogenic liquids. I did something like this once, and it really does get awfully cold awfully quickly. As for putting it in your mouth, I wouldn't recommend it, but I suspect that if you had a small enough ammount, with your mouth slightly open, then you could breathe "smoke" rings etc. But you can do that on a cold day outdoors too.

Taste wise, I expect it'd fizz off the tastebuds on your tongue, and that'd be it.

Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"


jcrsGOLD Member
the floor is a sea of tigers...
404 posts

Posted:
Written by: simian


i remember hearing that you can appear to hold liquid nitrogen in the palm of your hand, because it's actually floating on a cushion of the evaporating nitrogen.

i guess you could do it on your tongue too.

it would probably be quite cold.


i'm pretty sure that's not the case... cause for it to evaporate, it needs to absorb heat from the environment, and in that case, it would include your tounge and hand, a cushion of evaporating n2 isn't going to help.... though don't quote me on this, i only took chem in highschool and promptly forgot it all

simian110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
3,149 posts
Location: London


Posted:
Written by:

For many liquids, there is a temperature well above its boiling point called the Leidenfrost point. Water has a Leidenfrost point of over 200 degrees Celsius. Consider a simple experiment where a droplet of water is placed on a hot surface (hot: a temperature above the boiling point of water). If the temperature of the surface is below the Leidenfrost point, then the droplet starts to spread out and vaporises rather quickly. At or above the Leidenfrost point, however, the bottom layer of the droplet vaporises almost immediately on contact, effectively creating a cushion of vapour that repels the rest of the droplet from the surface. The droplet does not make contact with the surface, and thus no heat can be transferred directly from the surface.




Same effect stops heat being transferred directly between your hand and the nitrogen, innit?

"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."


ducky2108A little bit of a board whore
147 posts
Location: Glasgow


Posted:
Yep.

Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"


LavatwilightGOLD Member
old hand
834 posts
Location: Wellington somerset, UK


Posted:
monkey very right, as part of the open day for our uni i like to show the new kids how to play with superconductors and magnets, and that involves lots of liquid nitrogen, which to show is safe i love to pour on my hands.

altho you'd catch me doing that as likley as youd catch me breating fire....its not going to happen!!

Drawings by chalk minds, strech between the stars

Kyle Mclean-
Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film


LurchBRONZE Member
old hand
929 posts
Location: Oregon, USA


Posted:
Everything I've read/heard always says never more than about 1/2 spoonful in your mouth.. Which is what, about 1/4 shot?

Still stupid IMO.. Frostbite of the tongue is not on my fun list

#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

Warning: Please Do Not Jump On The Seals


*HyperLightBRONZE Member
old hand
1,174 posts
Location: Great Malvern [UK]


Posted:
A spoon full-of-liquid-nitrogen helps the medicine.. go down... the medicine go down, the medicine go down...

A spoon full-of-liquid-nitrogen helps the medicine.. go down... the medicine go down, the medicine go down...

...In the most deliiiightful waaay! smile

(or was it sugar?)

Cake or Death?


colemanSILVER Member
big and good and broken
7,330 posts
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kingdom


Posted:
simian's quote clearly refers to a 'droplet' in the effect it describes.

if you have electric hobs, you can see this effect with water at home smile

try the same effect with half a glass of water and you'll see a very different effect.

so yeah, one drop of n2 on your hand/in your mouth would probably vaporise without harming you.

much more than that and i reckon you're looking at a nasty burn.


cole. x

"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood


ducky2108A little bit of a board whore
147 posts
Location: Glasgow


Posted:
Actually, if you try it with half a glass of water, then you still get the same effect, if and only if the hotplate is large enough. Otherwise, it just runs off the side where the cooler portion of the hotplate vapourises the water. I've seen it on those big Japanese teppan grills, and it's very impressive.

I stil wouldn't put liquid nitrogen on my tongue though.

Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"


colemanSILVER Member
big and good and broken
7,330 posts
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kingdom


Posted:
cool - i'd love to try that on a massive grill biggrin



i still reckon that half a glass of cold water on a regular electric hob (turned off of course) would be comparable to half a glass of n2 on a hand.



the initial heat difference is ~100 deg C in both cases.



exposing the skin to a large amount of liquid nitrogen would quickly (not sure what the thermal conductivity of a hand is so i can't say for how long) cool your hand below the leidenfrost point and result in some nasty burns...





cole. x

"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood


Mr_ChutneySILVER Member
Tosser
1,712 posts
Location: Herefordshire, England (UK)


Posted:
I saw on something like How 2 (the ITV scince programme- I know, I know) a guy a appeared to drink it- he gently but contiuously pured the stuff into his mouth from several inches above his face. The reasonaing they gave was that is it would heat and evaporate due to heating in the air and then coming close to the warmth of the guys mouth.

I'm no scientist, but i know what I saw smile

colemanSILVER Member
big and good and broken
7,330 posts
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kingdom


Posted:
how2 rocked!

yep - that would work if you used a small test tube to pour it and pour it nice and slow.

a teaspoon or two poured on to tongue over a few seconds shouldn't cause injury.

trying to 'drink' it normally (i.e. take a mouthful out of a glass) would be quite a bad idea i think...

at uni, we dunked little marshmallows in n2 and ate them biggrin
you get little wisps of vapour coming out of your mouth but with much less risk of slipping and freezing your eyes out/pouring n2 down your throat biggrin

another cool trick (although i never did it) is to poke a pinhole in a pong pong ball at a tangent to the surface.
dip the ball in n2 and let it fill up then take the full ball out and place it on a table.
if you poke the hole at the right angle, the ball should spin around for ages smile

so, its how for now... HOW!


cole. x

"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood


{anthrax}BRONZE Member
Look I've changed my title!
209 posts
Location: England


Posted:
how2 was amazing!!!!!! best thing ever to happen to my childhood education biggrin

anthrax.... it infects, then spreads..... fast


ducky2108A little bit of a board whore
147 posts
Location: Glasgow


Posted:
Are any of you old enough to remember Johnny Ball.

Now there's a genius

Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"


colemanSILVER Member
big and good and broken
7,330 posts
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kingdom


Posted:
oh yes smile

it confuses me how did zoe ball ended up the way she did - with a dad like that, you would have thought she would have been sitting next to stephen hawking telling him all the answers by the time she was 12 confused wink


cole. x

"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood


simian110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
3,149 posts
Location: London


Posted:
Johnny Ball asked me if i had a girlfriend once. True story.

"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."


Tom_ShillSILVER Member
enthusiast
213 posts
Location: Brighton, United Kingdom


Posted:
was he trying to get into your pants?

Will those capable of telekinesis please raise my hand?


ducky2108A little bit of a board whore
147 posts
Location: Glasgow


Posted:
We'll have no Johnny Ball based libel, please!

Ancient wiseman say "It is very strange person, who, when left alone in room with teacosy, does not try it on"


newgabeSILVER Member
what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
4,030 posts
Location: Bali, Australia


Posted:
sounds about as stupid as firebreathing. N2 not Johnny Ball.

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....


DaizBRONZE Member
Radioactive Member
106 posts
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Posted:
Well, In think the person who did THAT is just plain STUPID.

I'm gonna cut you up so bad, you gonna wish I ain't cut you up so bad.


Ravenhillmember
47 posts
Location: Falmouth, Cornwall


Posted:
K, so do we agree that liquid nitrogen CAN be touched/manipulated without instant, painful debilitation or death?

Then I wanna see contact-nitrogen and nitro-batics!

They are guides. They are teachers. They are like Yoda, only smaller and on strings.

--Meenik on poi


darkpoetBRONZE Member
Irish
525 posts
Location: Dallas.........ish, USA


Posted:
first off...liquid nitrogen...on any part of the body....seems idiotic..but the hand thing ive seen on disc. channel...things of that nature..however..you have to remember that the mouth is a WET ENVIRONMENT!...so wherever the N2 would be...itd probably be freezing anything around it causing nastry cold burns...to sum it up...

if your dumb enough to try it..you deserve whatevers coming to you...

Jesus saves sinners and redeems them for cash and
prizes

Co-Founder of Keepers of Light

Educate yourself about the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!


EwokkiBRONZE Member
Member
30 posts
Location: United Kingdom


Posted:
But still.. it's been done, by many people. So it is possible.

Also you can swallow a few drops and burp huge clouds of vapour.

Ignarnewbie
10 posts

Posted:
Try it and die- it'd probably snap your toung off! And health and safety would probably kill you for drug abuse or some equally stupid [censored].

mo-sephenthusiast
524 posts
Location: Edinburgh, UK


Posted:
Interesting fact about nitrogen: despite making up some large proportion of the atmosphere, it can kill you!

If you are in an overly rich nitrogen environment, you're getting less CO2, which hence doesn't build up in your bloodstream and trigger a breathing response. So people have been known to keel over just from forgetting to breathe. Spooky!

monkeys ate my brain


Page:
HOP Newsletter
Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases and more...