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Human Super Stomach

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Can our stomach dissolve a razor blade or a penny?

Scientists in the NHS completed a study on this problem. The results are surprising!

 

Our stomach produces around 3 to 4 litres of gastric juice daily. This liquid breaks down the food, and digestive enzymes split up the proteins.

We classify acids on a scale from 0 to 14. Acids in our stomach (HCl) are not an oddity. The lower the pH level, the stronger the acid is. The pH level in the stomach ranges from 1-3.

So can our stomach dissolve a razor blade or a penny?

C. Spittler, C. W. Taylor 3rd, D. Sponseller, and R. S. Chung showed us that our stomach can do extraordinary accomplishments.


Researchers incubated razor blades, disc batteries and pennies in simulated gastric juice at 37 degrees C and recorded their weight hourly.

The findings correlated with clinical observation in one patient who swallowed razor blades repeatedly.


After 24 hours, the blades weighed 63% of the original weight. They could break double-edged razor blades with a snare at 15 hours. The thickened back of the single-edged blade dissolved in 2 hours. No leak of contents was detected with disk batteries. Pennies were unaffected.


In conclusion, corrosion of razor blades occurs rapidly in the ordinary stomach. Modern disk batteries are acid-resistant for 24 hours.

So, if you ever swallow a razor blade, you don’t need to panic. At least if it goes through your pharynx and oesophagus safely.


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