They say the devil find works for idle hands, and never has this felt more fitting than while watching a video of someone dissolving a chicken drumstick in acid for sh!ts and giggles. Shared on the YouTube channel Nile Red Shorts, something of a treasure trove of bizarre experiments with a sciencey theme, the video shows how the caustic mixture makes short work of flesh, muscle and bone, “vaporizing” the entire drumstick in under two minutes.
The finger-licking recipe for some chicken-disappearing soup (this is a joke please DO NOT TOUCH ACID and lick your fingers) is a combination of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide. You may know it as the "piranha Solution", something that’s professionally used to clean organic residue off equipment.
As a strong acid, piranha solution effectively dissolves any organic matter it comes into contact with, be that plant residue, animal carcasses, or a human body. This might explain why watching the defenseless chicken drumstick go up in an angry, bubbling mess of brown feels quite so disturbing.
If the ill fate of this chicken drumstick is bringing to mind that bathtub scene from Breaking Bad, there are some pretty considerable differences. The solution used by Walter White was hydrofluoric acid, something that the Royal Society of Chemistry confirmed you definitely don't want in your bathtub.
Such an acid bath can easily destroy skin and fat tissue but the breakdown leaves behind a rather grim sludge, unlike piranha solution which, as the video shows, leaves almost no trace. Serial killer John George Haigh learnt this the hard way as he boasted “You can’t prove murder without a body” after admitting to the murder of eight people he dissolved in acid baths. Unfortunately for his “perfect crime”, police found 12 kilograms (28 pounds) of human body fat, three gallstones and dentures that survived within the sludge, which they used to confirm one of the victims’ identities.
Needless to say, piranha solution is NOT something you want to come into contact with and should probably avoid, say, randomly vaporizing bits of animal in at home.
Thanks for the video though, Nile Red. You maverick, you.