Why don't I get shocked by batteries?

Why don’t I get shocked when I touch the two contact ends of a battery simultaneously? Granted, I’ve only tried this with low-power consumer batteries like AA, C, D, 6v, etc. I don’t think I’ll try it on my car battery.

Low voltage combined with high skin resistance = very low current.

Try touching both ends of a 9v battery to your tongue. It won’t kill you, but you’ll definitely feel a jolt…



You’ve never licked the posts on a 9 volt transistor radio battery? Buddy, you’ve never lived!

Your car battery won’t do it either. But a 9 volt will if you touch it to your tongue.

Your fingers don’t conduct the low voltage very well. Try touching the contact points of a 9 volt battery with your tongue.

Wow…5 posts within a minute.

Hah! I was the first to mention the 9v battery.

[sorry – one has to celebrate what little victories come our way…]



Car battery won’t hurt you.[sup]1[/sup] After all, it’s only 12.6 V. In fact, you can grab on to both terminals while someone starts the car and it still won’t hurt you…

[sup]1[/sup][sub]Assuming you don’t have breaks in your skin.[/sub]

Stick a 9 volt battery terminals on your tongue and you will feel an electrical charge.

The reason you dont feel it with the other batteries is because your flesh has too much resistance for those batteries low voltage to overcome.

Now, if you were to wet your forearm and lay it across the terminals of your car battery, you would definetly feel that too. But I certainly don’t recommend it.

BTW dont try the tongue thing with the car battery. It may be only 12 volts but those suckers have anywhere from 60 to 100 amps. That plus your tongue = cooked meat.


Current capability doesn’t matter.

Try again.

Don’t you think you should retract this? What if you have wet hands and feet?

I do however want to meet the woman who is able to do this. Maybe invite her up for…coffee.


What would the resultant amperage be across your tongue when it has say an approximate resistance of 1/8 ohm and you hook it to a car battery? I’ll concede that the cooked meat statement was a bit of a hyperbole.

Max Carnage:

Try finding this dreamgirl of yours, and both of you get slicked up in warm body oils. You hold a wire hooked up to the negative post of a car battery and she holds the wire connected to the positive post (same battery) and she touches your “shockrod” with only with her tongue.

Lore on batteries

Nothing shocks me anymore; I’m jaded.

My basic quick and dirty method of checking if a battery (AA or AAA or C or D) is dead is to lick my index finger, put it on the bottom of the battery, and touch my tongue to the top pole of the battery. If I don’t feel something, the battery’s pretty dead.
(it’s doesn’t really feel exactly like a shock, more like biting aluminum foil or something.)

12.5V/0.125ohms =10A Not exactly a meat cooker. Also as max Carnage said, I would like to meet a woman with a 10" tongue for ah coffee, yeah I want to have ah coffee with her also.

next as far next part with oil, and getting slicked up, intact skin has a resistance that varies between 300-600 ohms. 12V/600ohms = 0.02A. Not even a tickle. Speaking as a guy who has worked on cars for over 35 years, I have touched batteries with dry hands, wet hands, oily hands and just about every other kind of hands you can think of. NO shocks.

Well I just happen to have my VOM nearby. I get about 50 ohms across my gums, and no less than 60 at the on my tounge. (Meter Triplett 4404 ) What’s your internal resistance?

As for how it feels on one’s tounge. I can say from experience 9 volt battery isn’t bad, Car battery is much much worse. 110V turns the world white. About 7KV jumps out to the nearest ground. (in my case that was about 4" away, the arc, arched above my eyebrows) Just FYI, I didn’t do the 110, or 7KV on purpose.

I always expected an open wound was the best place to test a 9V battery. I never had the heart though.

Remember when they were VTVM’s.