Screaming Coin and a Singing Spoon

By Anupum Pant

Dry ice, or Cardice – as British researchers call it, is a solid form of carbon dioxide. When carbon dioxide is cooled below temperatures of -78.5 degrees centigrade, the gas gets directly frozen into a solid form. -78.5 degrees centigrade is extremely cold, and handling dry ice without proper protection can be very dangerous – could cause frostbite / burns. The point being, it’s extremely cold.

Since it’s too cold compared to something at room temperature, even everyday objects at room temperature can make it vaporize. A simple metal coin at room temperature would feel like a hot pan to dry ice. So, when a coin is shoved into a piece of dry ice, it creates a funny sound, just like water would, on a very hot pan; or, you could say the sound be very much like a hot metal ball being dropped into a cold bath of water (the temperature difference being much less in this case, of course).

This is how it works: The metal piece at room temperature vaporizes some amount of carbon dioxide from the piece of dry ice when it comes in contact. There’s a pressure difference (Bernoulli’s principle) associated with this process and the gas tries to escape. This makes the metal vibrate very fast, creating that funny sound. This is how it sounds…

Metals work best because they have a good thermal conductivity. For the sake of trying it out yourself, if you have a piece of dry ice lying unused, you could dip a spoon in hot water and make it touch the piece of dry ice. A slightly warmer spoon will probably give you a better effect. And then the spoon will be singing…

His Blood was a Powerful Snakebite Serum

By Anupum Pant


Trust me, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. Bill Haast, born in the year 1910 was one very interesting person. He was a man who was immune to the bites of some of the world’s most dangerous snakes like cobras, vipers (and others). He was the only person to have survived 3 king cobra bites. He even survived the bite from a blue krait (the snake died). Not just that. His blood was treated as a powerful snakebite serum. He also saved countless lives simply donating his blood. Was it a superpower of some sort?

Did you know? Venom and Poison are not the same things.


Maybe you could call it that. But, the superpower did not happen spontaneously. He did it to himself. He turned himself into a human experiment (at the cost of his life) to attain this level of resistance to snake venom.

His secret: Bill Hast, bitten by snakes more than 170 times, in his time, was a man who was bitten by poisonous snakes more times than any other living man. But those were mostly accidents that happened when he handled snakes during his career with snakes, a career that lasted more than 60 years. He built antibodies in his blood by voluntarily injecting snake venom every week since 1948! When he started doing this to himself, he did not know if he’d survive.

However, the man went on to hit 100 years of healthy life. Look at how he moves around at the age of 88. (Certainly not as agile as the 86-year-old gymnast – the super grandma. No one beats that!). He died on June 15, 2010.

His job: His real occupation was to collect venom to make anti-venom serums. He owned about 10,000 snakes. He collected the venom by repeating the process thousands of time (at the same time he was kind to the snakes). For drug companies in the year 1990, he was the source for 36,000 samples of venom.

Did you know? There is a Wasp that turns a cockroach into a zombie with its venom!

The other side of it

Of course the superpower came with a cost. In the video, you can see how had gnarled, he had lost the use of couple of muscles in his hand and had scars all over. He did it all with good intentions in mind, not for the money. Bill Haast, certainly was a legend.

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