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Old 12-10-2002, 12:57 AM
dkoik dkoik is offline
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What happens when you pour molten gold down someone's throat?

While reading a Roman history text book, I came across a reference to a king (Mithridates if you're curious) who had molten gold poured down the throat of a captured Roman general. This begged the question, what happens when molten gold is poured down someone's throat? Do they die instantly, or can a person live for a few minutes with molten metal running into his or her stomache? After the victim is dead, can you recover the gold? If so, all of it, or just most? These are the sort of questions that history books just aren't good at answering.

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Old 12-10-2002, 01:13 AM
Stan Doubt Stan Doubt is offline
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If you literally "poured" molten (liquid) gold down someone's throat, they would almost certainly die, outside of one hell of a bout of emergency surgery, a lot of luck, and a long recovery.

I doubt that death would be sudden. I bet the person's lungs would fill with blood.

The gold exists in a solid state at body temperature, so you'd just have to cut up the corpse to retrieve all the gold used.
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Old 12-10-2002, 01:19 AM
Nishroch Order Nishroch Order is offline
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1) He'll be dead in a few seconds. Might not suffer much as he will probably be unconscious from the burning hot air and a scorched nervous connection.

2) What will happen is probably the gold burning through his jaws and throat before it even has the chance of reaching the stomach. Initial muscle contractions will prevent *for a moment* the gold from flowing down and it'll well up.

3) Gold being so unreactive, it can probably be extracted by burning up the remains of the person
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Old 12-10-2002, 01:21 AM
Nishroch Order Nishroch Order is offline
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He can't possibly survive, all major arteries to the brain would be burst beyond repair.
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Old 12-10-2002, 01:29 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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Kinda puts eating too-hot pizza in perspective, don't it?
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Old 12-10-2002, 02:16 AM
Snooooopy Snooooopy is offline
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I can see it now: "Pour some gold down that general's throat. And make sure to GET IT BACK!!! I'm not made of gold, you know."
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Old 12-10-2002, 07:17 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Re: What happens when you pour molten gold down someone's throat?

Quote:
Originally posted by dkoik
This begged the question
No, it didn't.
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Old 12-10-2002, 07:46 AM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
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One Cecil Adams (Perfect Master) says
Quote:
On the subject of begging the question, it occurred to me to say "invite" or "demand" lest I hear from persons such as yourself. But "beg" had the element of puppy-dog enthusiasm I was after. I was using these words in a manner congruent with their plain meaning, and while they also happen to be the term for a certain logical fallacy, I figured that no one would misunderstand my intent.
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/020524.html
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Old 12-10-2002, 07:51 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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It is possible that the Leidenfrost effect would prevent the tissues from actually burning through long enough for the molten metal to make it's way down the oesophagus and/or windpipe - I would imagine any attempt 'not to swallow' would be pretty futile and would not stop the passage at all - possibly even a reflexive gasp might speed it on its way.

A few moments of unbelievably intense pain, then blackout through shock, quickly followed by death from internal damage, I would think, but IANAD, neither do I play one on TV.

If by poured they actually meant trickled, then I suspect it could be a little nastier and more drawn-out.
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