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(Science Alert (Australia))   Science reality-checks another assertion made by Game Of Thrones: Would pouring molten gold over your head kill you? And how painfully?   (sciencealert.com.au) divider line 118
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8959 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 16 Jun 2014 at 10:36 AM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-16 09:36:09 AM  
Dragons, science: Is they are awesome?
 
2014-06-16 09:49:30 AM  
I'm no science talking guy, but I'm going to guess:  A)  Yes, and B)  Highly.
 
2014-06-16 09:55:10 AM  
If it doesn't, you're still going to have a very bad day.
 
2014-06-16 10:33:25 AM  
It's a show that has dragons, zombies, and people who can enter the minds of animals.

Of course I demand realistic deaths.
 
2014-06-16 10:40:25 AM  

Diogenes: I'm no science talking guy, but I'm going to guess:  A)  Yes, and B)  Highly.


You might, however unlikely, come away just horrible maimed.  People live through some weird shiat.
 
2014-06-16 10:42:19 AM  
Didn't Moses do that?
 
2014-06-16 10:43:12 AM  

ninotchka: Didn't Moses do that?


Nope, Simpsons
 
2014-06-16 10:44:29 AM  
How does it compare to be suspended in time and hung up as a scarecrow?
 
2014-06-16 10:47:08 AM  
Wow. This is only 3 years late. Or 18.
 
2014-06-16 10:49:58 AM  

EvilEgg: Diogenes: I'm no science talking guy, but I'm going to guess:  A)  Yes, and B)  Highly.

You might, however unlikely, come away just horrible maimed.  People live through some weird shiat.


I say we do some experimentation on the science deniers in Congress.
 
2014-06-16 10:52:28 AM  
Hope they tackle Tywin's death next. Two crossbow bolts to the chest doesn't seem like it could kill someone that easily.
 
2014-06-16 10:57:55 AM  

texdent: If it doesn't, you're still going to have a very bad day.


stream1.gifsoup.com
 
2014-06-16 11:00:03 AM  

Cymbal: Hope they tackle Tywin's death next. Two crossbow bolts to the chest doesn't seem like it could kill someone that easily.


I counted one in the lower chest, one in the shoulder. Contrary to popular belief a shot to the shoulder is usually fatal, due to the large amount of veins and arteries located there going towards your arms. Takes a while, though, and assumes someone isn't applying pressure to prevent bleeding out.
 
2014-06-16 11:00:38 AM  

EvilEgg: Diogenes: I'm no science talking guy, but I'm going to guess:  A)  Yes, and B)  Highly.

You might, however unlikely, come away just horrible maimed.  People live through some weird shiat.


You'd be severely brain damaged, since it would cook it in your skull... Hell, a temp of 104 is about the range you can have until the fever starts to fark up your brain. The gold was obviously hotter than that, and it sticks while it's burning. It's like having hot syrup or molten plastic burn you,m it sots there and burns and burns long after the initial contact, and then the heat starts working inside from the burn...

You can still be receiving burn damage after it seems to have stopped, it's why you apply the cold water for longer than just until it stops hurting...
 
2014-06-16 11:00:45 AM  
I thought he just died of embarrassment.
 
2014-06-16 11:01:48 AM  
Jesus/Thorin how long does it take to melt gold in a firepot anyway?

media.tumblr.com

Not long at all.
 
2014-06-16 11:04:38 AM  

Smoking GNU: Cymbal: Hope they tackle Tywin's death next. Two crossbow bolts to the chest doesn't seem like it could kill someone that easily.

I counted one in the lower chest, one in the shoulder. Contrary to popular belief a shot to the shoulder is usually fatal, due to the large amount of veins and arteries located there going towards your arms. Takes a while, though, and assumes someone isn't applying pressure to prevent bleeding out.


Well that and the whole "no modern medicine thing". Without antibiotics a splinter in your finger can wind up killing you.
 
2014-06-16 11:06:40 AM  

PainInTheASP: It's a show that has dragons, zombies, and people who can enter the minds of animals.  Of course I demand realistic deaths.


A good story involving magic only bends the rules of reality where magic is specifically involved.  Otherwise, everything else is bound to the rules of reality.  When it doesn't, it smacks of weak writing.

See: the refrigerator scene in Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull
 
2014-06-16 11:07:18 AM  
And NO science was actually had in the article. Article cited an study in which lead was poured down the throat of a corpse to see what would happen. It only cooked the first centimeter and apparently the steam is what kills you. In the case of your head, steam is exactly what would protect you as it would create a barrier between you and the molten gold.
I'm calling this article busted, and without any compelling facts. Its likely you would survive unless its a very large amount.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leidenfrost_effect
 
2014-06-16 11:08:02 AM  
i40.photobucket.com

it would at least make you pretty crazy
 
2014-06-16 11:08:07 AM  

Mikey1969: You'd be severely brain damaged, since it would cook it in your skull... Hell, a temp of 104 is about the range you can have until the fever starts to fark up your brain. The gold was obviously hotter than that,


Molten gold is a toasty 1000C/1948F so your brain will not only cook, but probably boil as well.
 
2014-06-16 11:08:24 AM  
So people who watch this show really are that stupid
 
2014-06-16 11:09:45 AM  

PainInTheASP: It's a show that has dragons, zombies, and people who can enter the minds of animals.

Of course I demand realistic deaths.


That grit and realism in the presence of fantasy elements is what separates this show from the movie 300. I know dragons and zombies don't really exist, but their existence had nothing to do with the scene being described in TFA.

I don't want to come off as a huge GoT nerd. I see people pull this argument for a lot of things, especially video games. The world is not entirely realistic, but it does have physics and logic of its own. Thus, following that logic will make the world seem more coherent.
 
2014-06-16 11:13:40 AM  

cretinbob: So people who watch this show really are that stupid


img.4plebs.org
 
2014-06-16 11:13:41 AM  

Smoking GNU: Cymbal: Hope they tackle Tywin's death next. Two crossbow bolts to the chest doesn't seem like it could kill someone that easily.

I counted one in the lower chest, one in the shoulder. Contrary to popular belief a shot to the shoulder is usually fatal, due to the large amount of veins and arteries located there going towards your arms. Takes a while, though, and assumes someone isn't applying pressure to prevent bleeding out.


May need to recalibrate your sarcasm detector ;)
 
2014-06-16 11:18:30 AM  
Up next: how does decapitation really kill you?
 
2014-06-16 11:29:08 AM  
I'm guessing the intense pain and shock could just stop the human heart altogether...
Not to mention his brain boiling in it's skull.
 
2014-06-16 11:36:23 AM  

texdent: If it doesn't, you're still going to have a very bad day.


Yeah, my thought was "God, I hope so, because who wants to survive  that!?!"
 
2014-06-16 11:40:21 AM  

Mentalpatient87: PainInTheASP: It's a show that has dragons, zombies, and people who can enter the minds of animals.

Of course I demand realistic deaths.

That grit and realism in the presence of fantasy elements is what separates this show from the movie 300. I know dragons and zombies don't really exist, but their existence had nothing to do with the scene being described in TFA.

I don't want to come off as a huge GoT nerd. I see people pull this argument for a lot of things, especially video games. The world is not entirely realistic, but it does have physics and logic of its own. Thus, following that logic will make the world seem more coherent.


I just want to know how the one mook I encounter in the overworld is really four mooks on the battle screen, not moving and three times my character's size. Also why is my party all standing in a row?
 
2014-06-16 11:41:14 AM  

MindStalker: And NO science was actually had in the article. Article cited an study in which lead was poured down the throat of a corpse to see what would happen. It only cooked the first centimeter and apparently the steam is what kills you. In the case of your head, steam is exactly what would protect you as it would create a barrier between you and the molten gold.
I'm calling this article busted, and without any compelling facts. Its likely you would survive unless its a very large amount.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leidenfrost_effect


There are two problems here. One is that the Leidenfrost Effect is more or less inherently time-bound: eventually the pressure gets high enough that the steam escapes through any opening it can find. If the pressure gets high enough, it can even bubble up through the liquid that it's holding off. So while the Leidenfrost Effect might protect you for a few seconds, it would eventually fail, and at that point it's all over. This is why the cheesy demonstrations you see always involve moving very fast: you don't have long before the effect runs out of steam.

The second problem is that there has to be a source of water to evaporate, creating the steam. The cow larynx was no doubt helped by the fact that it was still wet, but your would-be executioners are unlikely to dump buckets of water on you before pouring gold on your head. Of course, being doused in water doesn't mean there's no water at all: the human body is some 60% water for a reasonably fit adult. But when that water starts to flash-boil, you're in big trouble. The dehydration and burns from this would probably kill you before the gold ever actually reached you.

The Leidenfrost Effect would protect you for a few seconds, yes, but it would not take long for the steam to escape through any route possible: out from under the molten gold or, if need be, even bubbling through it once the pressure is high enough. This is why all those cheesy Leidenfrost effect demonstrations (wetting your finger and then dragging it through molten lead, for example) all involve moving very fast.
 
2014-06-16 11:42:20 AM  

Cymbal: Hope they tackle Tywin's death next. Two crossbow bolts to the chest doesn't seem like it could kill someone that easily.


I think they should tackle Ned's. I'm pretty sure as long as you have someone who's good with a needle and thread handy, decapitation isn't that big a deal.
 
2014-06-16 11:47:06 AM  
Will it kill you and/or be painful??? Meh, the real question is, will it give you a boner???

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-06-16 11:51:56 AM  
Really? I'm the first? Farkers be slippin yo.

www.stoptrafficclothing.co.uk
 
2014-06-16 11:52:13 AM  

Millennium: MindStalker: And NO science was actually had in the article. Article cited an study in which lead was poured down the throat of a corpse to see what would happen. It only cooked the first centimeter and apparently the steam is what kills you. In the case of your head, steam is exactly what would protect you as it would create a barrier between you and the molten gold.
I'm calling this article busted, and without any compelling facts. Its likely you would survive unless its a very large amount.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leidenfrost_effect

There are two problems here. One is that the Leidenfrost Effect is more or less inherently time-bound: eventually the pressure gets high enough that the steam escapes through any opening it can find. If the pressure gets high enough, it can even bubble up through the liquid that it's holding off. So while the Leidenfrost Effect might protect you for a few seconds, it would eventually fail, and at that point it's all over. This is why the cheesy demonstrations you see always involve moving very fast: you don't have long before the effect runs out of steam.

The second problem is that there has to be a source of water to evaporate, creating the steam. The cow larynx was no doubt helped by the fact that it was still wet, but your would-be executioners are unlikely to dump buckets of water on you before pouring gold on your head. Of course, being doused in water doesn't mean there's no water at all: the human body is some 60% water for a reasonably fit adult. But when that water starts to flash-boil, you're in big trouble. The dehydration and burns from this would probably kill you before the gold ever actually reached you.

The Leidenfrost Effect would protect you for a few seconds, yes, but it would not take long for the steam to escape through any route possible: out from under the molten gold or, if need be, even bubbling through it once the pressure is high enough. This is why all those cheesy Leidenfrost effect demonstrati ...


Yes, you would be horribly burnt. But I don't think it would cook your brain simply because your brain is so wet. Honestly its really really hard to guess exactly what would happen. I think most of the gold would roll off your head especially if you are bald rather quickly but would still leave you burnt but not dead.
Either way the article only cited a study about pouring lead down the throat, which isn't at all representative of pouring gold over your head.
 
2014-06-16 11:57:13 AM  

MindStalker: And NO science was actually had in the article. Article cited an study in which lead was poured down the throat of a corpse to see what would happen. It only cooked the first centimeter and apparently the steam is what kills you. In the case of your head, steam is exactly what would protect you as it would create a barrier between you and the molten gold.
I'm calling this article busted, and without any compelling facts. Its likely you would survive unless its a very large amount.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leidenfrost_effect


The leidenfrost effect also relies on having a thin coating of liquid already on that surface. Take the mythbusters example - note that each participant also dipped their hand in water prior to the lead. If they hadn't, the leidenfrost effect would start bubbling the water under the surface of the skin (which, basically, would be inflicting the same damage as the direct heat).
 
2014-06-16 11:57:30 AM  
All I know is that if you pour boiling silver on your hands you too can become a hero of the American Revolution.
 
2014-06-16 12:03:10 PM  

texdent: If it doesn't, you're still going to have a very bad day.


Seriously, how would you get it out of your hair?  I don't think peanut butter would work.
 
2014-06-16 12:06:44 PM  

Brick-House: Will it kill you and/or be painful??? Meh, the real question is, will it give you a boner???

[4.bp.blogspot.com image 298x442]


I always thought his costume was completely inappropriate, even when I was a kid.
 
2014-06-16 12:12:55 PM  
As Edward II said, "Rectum? It damn near killed him."
 
2014-06-16 12:14:03 PM  

Gunther: Cymbal: Hope they tackle Tywin's death next. Two crossbow bolts to the chest doesn't seem like it could kill someone that easily.

I think they should tackle Ned's. I'm pretty sure as long as you have someone who's good with a needle and thread handy, decapitation isn't that big a deal.


May not even need that. Just slip him a few drams of Milk of the Poppy(the GoT version of Robitussin) and he'd be healthy enough to simply walk into Mordor.
 
2014-06-16 12:16:59 PM  

Rhino_man: Brick-House: Will it kill you and/or be painful??? Meh, the real question is, will it give you a boner???

[4.bp.blogspot.com image 298x442]

I always thought his costume was completely inappropriate, even when I was a kid.


That was the point. Goldust was very much crossing the line with his early stuff; they had him really making passes at Razor Ramon during matches.

That is one part of the knowledge that is taking up too much stuff in my brain and is stopping me from storing more relevant, interesting data.
 
2014-06-16 12:20:04 PM  

Boojum2k: Molten gold is a toasty 1000C/1948F so your brain will not only cook, but probably boil as well.


Thank you.  Lead is only like 350C IIRC.  Most people have no concept of temperatures like 1000C.  It is white hot.  To pour cleanly it would have to be above that temperature so it wouldn't freeze right away, so maybe 1200C.  I've handled molten metal that hot, in a crucible with gloves and tongs and it still gave my upper arms radiation burns.  Plus gold is very dense, so even a thin helmety layer would transfer vast amounts of energy to the tissues underneath.   I suspect you would most immediately die of massive hemorrhaging in the brain due to exploding vessels.
 
2014-06-16 12:21:13 PM  

Diogenes: I'm no science talking guy, but I'm going to guess:  A)  Yes, and B)  Highly.


Yup. I agree. and I've never even seen Game of Thrones
 
2014-06-16 12:21:48 PM  

spcMike: All I know is that if you pour boiling silver on your hands you too can become a hero of the American Revolution.


Um, if you have the power to boil metal, wouldn't that basically mean you are in super close proximity to a sun?
 
2014-06-16 12:24:52 PM  

Boojum2k: Mikey1969: You'd be severely brain damaged, since it would cook it in your skull... Hell, a temp of 104 is about the range you can have until the fever starts to fark up your brain. The gold was obviously hotter than that,

Molten gold is a toasty 1000C/1948F so your brain will not only cook, but probably boil as well.


That skull bone is in the way, but it will probably get severely damaged due to the water inside live bone flashing to steam. The calcination process at 848C won't help its strength either.
 
2014-06-16 12:32:21 PM  
Not sure but something tells me the heat won't transfer very efficiently.  People have poured hot lead into their mouths without any physical injury whatsoever.  Same principle.  The amount of molten gold it'd take to kill someone in the actual pouring (as opposed to infection from third-degree burns) would probably represent the bulk of the kingdom's reserves.  I'm sure the idea predates GRRM but it's the sort of stupid that pisses off the bean-counters that gently remind even the craziest rulers that their iron-fisted reign depends on timely deliveries of the soldiers' payroll.  (Not that the gold couldn't be recovered, but the spectacle puts it at unnecessary risk and it's not like mints back then were automated -- you don't literally liquefy the treasury for a show without consequence.)

I'm happy to just dismiss it as fictional embellishment, but we're all here because that exposes a bit of a conundrum:

PainInTheASP: It's a show that has dragons, zombies, and people who can enter the minds of animals. Of course I demand realistic deaths.

 The problem I have with GRRM and his fanbois is the circular logic that all decisions are perfectly justified.   If something's outlandish, it's a high fantasy story with dragons and zombies.  If something's gratuitously disturbing it's because it's a tour de force of gritty, realistic medieval life -- even though it's really not that realistic, or even trying to be.  It's realistic compared to Middle-Earth but hobbits and walking trees and ringwraiths make for a rather low bar.  Not that any particular decision needs to be justified per se -- if an author wants dragons in a story there's nothing wrong with that -- but it'd be nice if everyone could make up their goddamn minds.

Case in point, Death by Gold.  Is this supposed to be realistic or outlandish?  It looks like fans here are ready to go either way -- whatever makes the author look good in the end.  Again, I'm fine with dismissing it as outlandish -- it's an entertaining thought in a morbid way -- but designating ASoIaF as "high fantasy" means a lot of the other controversial stuff is there because the writer wanted in there, and that makes fanbois' heads assplode.  That's really the only reason why everyone -- including GRRM -- insist on calling it "realistic".

Seriously, why the fark does a story with dragons and zombies need to be realistic?  I'm OK with a story that has sexual violence and incest and child brides and psychopathic sadism in a patriarchal society whether or not it's trying to be realistic; this stuff does exist IRL so if anything the stories that hint at it for emotional shock value but shy away from portraying the issues head-on seem far more disingenuous by comparison.  Besides, it's unfair to point a finger at GRRM of all authors for being pervy compared to far more explicit stuff out there.  But FFS, GRRM, stop trying to portray it as respectful or logical.  Nobody held a goddamn gun to your head and forced you to write scenes of Dany being molested by her brother or Cersei banging her brother or all that Reek stuff; you wrote it because you wanted it in there.  There was nothing stopping you from, for example, giving Dany a caring brother instead except maybe a few plot conveniences that after 4000 pages probably wouldn't make much difference anyway.  Besides, if you're going to hide behind "realism" here then once we get to the Bran-on-drugs scenes it seems like you have no farking clue what kind of story you want to write.
I'm not saying the inclusion of fantastic OR disturbing elements in the books make them flawed by themselves; I'll defend ASoIaF from anyone who gets the vapors about the content itself.  But GRRM and his fans obviously want it both ways here, and that's childishly irresponsible.  It's a fictional story that's basically an orgy of batshiat crazy dysfunction and you guys like it.  Just own that effin' fact already and we don't even need to argue about Death by Gold.
 
2014-06-16 12:34:58 PM  

Bacontastesgood: Thank you.  Lead is only like 350C IIRC.  Most people have no concept of temperatures like 1000C.  It is white hot.  To pour cleanly it would have to be above that temperature so it wouldn't freeze right away, so maybe 1200C.  I've handled molten metal that hot, in a crucible with gloves and tongs and it still gave my upper arms radiation burns.  Plus gold is very dense, so even a thin helmety layer would transfer vast amounts of energy to the tissues underneath.   I suspect you would most immediately die of massive hemorrhaging in the brain due to exploding vessels.


Remember the end of Desolation of Smaug when the liquid gold acted exactly like yellow-colored water, and Thorin sailed a wheelbarrow down a stream of it with his hands about two inches from the liquid gold? Or how it solidified into the shape of a giant million-ton statue in five seconds?

I'm the one always telling my friends "just turn your brain off and enjoy it" and that scene broke me.
 
2014-06-16 12:38:57 PM  

Bacontastesgood:  To pour cleanly it would have to be above that temperature so it wouldn't freeze right away, so maybe 1200C.  I've handled molten metal that hot, in a crucible with gloves and tongs and it still gave my upper arms radiation burns.


So, what you're saying is that a shirtless Drogo probably couldn't have melted it in a pot over a campfire, and then picked up said pot with his bare hands.
 
2014-06-16 12:39:57 PM  
My biggest problem with that whole scene was that they melted the gold over a cooking fire.
 
2014-06-16 12:42:37 PM  
Fiction
media.tumblr.com

Reality
www4.pictures.zimbio.com

Oh and real gold doesn't melt in a couple minutes.
 
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