darn strong carrot juice

Back in high school, my 10th grade biology teacher told the class that the acid from the root of a carrot, when distilled, is strong enough to burn through almost anything. He then proceeded to tell us how a kid in his class was goofing around with the potent substance and burned a hole in his hand. Is this really possible?


“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, set them on fire.”----George Carlin

It is possible for an acid to burn a hole through the skin of the hand. With enough acid and enough time, you could burn through the hand itself.

In chemistry class, our teacher demonstrated how some concentrated sulfuric acid could turn a beaker of sugar (a carbohydrate, not a protein, but the closest he could get to human flesh on short notice) into a column of smoking carbon.

This piqued my interest, and I put a drop of the sulfuric acid on my own skin, while standing next to the water faucet (stupid, but not recklessly so). After several seconds I felt a mild itching sensation and rinsed. Your results may vary depending on dryness of skin and other factors – don’t tell the E.R. people I suggested this in any case.

I have seen pictures of serious acid burns in a medical textbook.

Whether the acid in carrots can be brougth to dangerous strength is beyond my ken.

      • You might be able to distill the acid from carrots strong enough to burn your skin, but then again lots of foods have acid in them. How many carrots would it take to get, say, a cup of 99% pure acid? Quite a few, I’d guess. V-8 markets a drink right now that is based on carrot juice, and I haven’t noticed the jars springing leaks, except when dropped on the floor.
      • Ketchup, BBQ sauce or mustard will remove floor wax. - MC