Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Doofus Of The Day #1,012


Today's award goes to the person who asked this question concerning the volcanic eruptions currently going on in Hawaii.

The USGS responded to one Twitter user who asked, “Is it safe to roast marshmallows over volcanic vents? Assuming you had a long enough stick, that is? Or would the resulting marshmallows be poisonous?”

. . .

The USGS responded:

Erm... we're going to have to say no, that's not safe. (Please don't try!) If the vent is emitting a lot of SO2 or H2S, they would taste BAD. And if you add sulfuric acid (in vog, for example) to sugar, you get a pretty spectacular reaction.

There's more at the link.

That someone would even think it feasible (if not necessarily safe) to get that close to an active volcanic vent in the first place . . . verily, the mind doth boggle!  You might say this Doofus award is an honorary preliminary to their almost inevitable Darwin award!




Peter

10 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

Oh brother!

Ben Yalow said...

I remember from a trip to the Big Island a few decades ago, when I saw warning signs saying, essentially, "Don't go over the fences so you can walk on the hot lava -- you really are likely to get hurt. And volcanic glass can really slash your feet to bit if you try walking on it with only cheap flip-flops to protect your feet."

I really would have hoped those would be unnecessary.

mn-- said...

Actually... there are a few places in the world where you can sort-of safely cook with volcanic heat, but not quite *that* directly - volcanic gas flow into food is, in the general case, not safe... neither is direct contact with lava that's just cooled to frying-pan temperatures.

Metal cookware or at a minimum food-grade tinfoil would help, and in some volcanic hot springs you can even use plastics if you're reasonably careful.

Unknown said...

The other evening I went to Old Pahoa town, just a few mile away from the current "activity". As I walked from the parking lot, a rent-a-car with 6 men and women pulled along side of me. "Are you a local?" One of the passengers asked. When I assured them I was, I've actually lived in Hawaii longer than anyone in that car had been alive, they proceeded to ask me where was the "secret" road to get to the lava. I simply directed them to the nearest National Guard roadblock. We got enough stupid here as it is.

Eric Wilner said...

The doofus who asks before trying is not the true doofus.

ravenshrike said...

You wouldn't want to do marshmallows anyway. They'd melt too quickly. However, with a steel grilling fork strapped to a 20 ft. carbon fiber pole you could probably cook a sausage.

Divemedic said...

This is what happens when sugar and sulfuric acid mix:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poDBrGIyTEk

urbane legend said...

Divemedic,
Okay, it forms a black plumbing trap, so what? /sarc

ravenshrike said...
You wouldn't want to do marshmallows anyway.


I don't like marshmallows. People always want to make smores; I say, " Why can't we make sless ?"

Chris said...

They believe it might be safe because Hollywood has spent decades showing that if you are mere inches from the lava you are perfectly safe. Only touching it will kill you.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

I'm sure that if they were actually in the physical presence of the volcano they would already know better than to make such an absurd inquiry.
It's obvious that wherever said individual lives is the type of terrain that never experiences such acts of nature.