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  #1  
Old 02 December 2010, 04:10 PM
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Default Alka seltzer explodes seagulls

Someone at my work that he heard someone saying that Alka Seltzer can explode seagulls. Sounds UL-ish to me, especially coming from a FOAF without any cite. I searched the main board and the only thing I found was this related article.

Anyone has any other info?
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  #2  
Old 02 December 2010, 06:42 PM
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I've heard this UL before too, it always sounded unlikely to me.

I can't find any scientific or official info about it, but this page repeats a supposed letter from Alka Seltzer saying it isn't true: http://bird-cages4.blogspot.com/2010...a-seltzer.html

I would imagine it might cause them discomfort, but an explosion seems pretty impossible.
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Old 02 December 2010, 07:45 PM
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My brother used to claim it was true, but a stomach is made of some pretty stretchy stuff. I don't think so.
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Old 02 December 2010, 08:58 PM
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Here is the relivant text from Syllavus' link:
Quote:
It is an old urban myth that seagulls will explode if they eat an Alka Seltzer. We burp because gaseous byproducts are produced in digestion and forced up through the esophagus (See KidsHealth for a good explanation). Birds have a different digestive system than humans, though they do have an esophagus and are capable of burping. Birds have no teeth and many swallow their food whole or hold it in their crop to regurgitate. For more of bird digestion see Colorado State University's online biomedical textbook, which includes a chapter on the Digestive Physiology of Birds.
Emphasis mine. Since birds can regurgitate their food (that they eat whole), burping seems to be the least of their problems. If birds can birp, they aren't going to explode. Its similar to the Coke and Pop Rocks myth that killed Mikey from the Life commercials - you might get sick, but your stomach is really expansive.
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  #5  
Old 03 December 2010, 01:11 AM
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I heard this one quite a bit on the Outer Banks, NC. Never saw it happen.
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  #6  
Old 03 December 2010, 01:42 AM
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From the snopes page on birds, it states that seagulls don't explode on Alka Seltzer. It also says birds don't die when they eat rice.

I couldn't copy and paste directly because snopes is too smart for that!
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  #7  
Old 03 December 2010, 02:16 AM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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Grab the "restore selecting" bookmarklet from here. I find some of the other bookmarklets there to be very useful, too, such as "zap colors" when I get to a page that has text colors/backgrounds in hard-to-read combinations.

Nick
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  #8  
Old 05 December 2010, 05:51 AM
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Chicken

I always heard that it would either make their stomachs or the whole birds explode. I've known people who claim either they've fed Alka-Seltzer to seagulls or that a friend/relative has. I remember reading a long time ago that this was a myth, but I still thought it was toxic to them.
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Old 08 December 2010, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoitoider View Post
I heard this one quite a bit on the Outer Banks, NC. Never saw it happen.
It would cool & horrible all at the same time to see it. I hate seagulls but don't really wanna kill 'em, just move 'em all somewhere away from me at the beach.
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  #10  
Old 08 December 2010, 12:39 PM
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You can move them to where I'm sitting. I love them
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  #11  
Old 08 December 2010, 01:06 PM
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I have also heard the myth. Supposedly it is because they cannot burp. I think that a ruptured stomach might be possible, but the whole seagull exploding seems pretty implausable. I'd like to see how mythbusters does this!
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Old 08 December 2010, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizzyBean View Post
From the snopes page on birds, it states that seagulls don't explode on Alka Seltzer.
Yep, but I guess that like anybody else, it brings them relief when they're hung over or have overeaten. And why on earth couldn't they burp? Gas is like nature - it always finds a way.

Alka Seltzer is a gift of the gods (especially in the holiday season, with all these family luncheons) that can't harm anyone, you see?
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  #13  
Old 08 December 2010, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
I have also heard the myth. Supposedly it is because they cannot burp. I think that a ruptured stomach might be possible, but the whole seagull exploding seems pretty implausable. I'd like to see how mythbusters does this!
As I posted above Seagulls do indeed burp.

I can't see mythbusters testing this - they wouldn't microwave a dog - they aint touching this one!
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  #14  
Old 08 December 2010, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
As I posted above Seagulls do indeed burp.

I can't see mythbusters testing this - they wouldn't microwave a dog - they aint touching this one!
They have in the past obtained dead animals such as chickens and pigs. I'm sure they could obtain a dead seagul and perform the test. They'll probably need to get several.
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  #15  
Old 08 December 2010, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
They have in the past obtained dead animals such as chickens and pigs. I'm sure they could obtain a dead seagul and perform the test. They'll probably need to get several.
The seagulls wouldn't be eating anything though. The tablet would just be inserted. It just isn't the same thing...

All they really need to do is reference their alka-seltzer jailbreak test anyway - they allready showed that they don't expand all that much.
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  #16  
Old 08 December 2010, 04:40 PM
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There would be no active stomach acid... a dead bird is not at all the same as a live bird. I agree with diddy, it just wouldn't work.
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  #17  
Old 08 December 2010, 04:55 PM
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It might not work, but I like the way Mythbusters approaches things to disprove them. Besides, I loke the part where the say try to prove what it would take to get the results described in the myth and I wanna see stuff explode!
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  #18  
Old 08 December 2010, 04:57 PM
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This reminds me of something my friend told me (and yes, it also involves his friend, so there is an element of foafness to it--but both by the nature of the story and the nature of my friend, I'm convinced it's true).

My friend Ryan was visiting his friend in DC. His friend is a doctor. They were on the beltway, and there was a severe traffic jam. As in, they had barely moved in more than an hour. Ryan needed to pee, but did not want to take his friend's suggestion to pee in a bottle in the car, so he was holding it. Eventually, he asked the doctor if he was in danger of his bladder bursting if he continued to hold it. The doctor said, "Oh no, you'll wet yourself before that happens." I believe Ryan then decided to pee in the bottle....

The upshot, and I think it would apply to the Alka-Seltzer question as well, is that unless there is a physical blockage--like a kidney stone in the case of the bladder--nothing is going to burst. There is a way for the pressure to be relieved, and the pressure will find its way out before the bladder, or stomach (or crop), expands past its limits.

Even if birds didn't normally burp and fart, and assuming there is a degree of pressure building up from the expanding gas, why wouldn't the gas just push its way out through the obvious route of least resistance--the digestive tract? So, again assuming there is some pressure build up, I would picture, at worst, some perhaps forcefully expelled bird poop and gas. (I was going to say diarrhea, but...it's bird poop to begin with, so....)

erwins
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