5 scientific curiosities about alcoholic beverages
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Alcohol is probably the most widely used licit drug in the world, in all countries and continents. To toast to that, the Gizmodo website has put together five amazing scientific facts about such drinks and chances are you haven't heard of any of them yet.
The pressure of a champagne is higher than that of a car tire.
The traditional ritual of unscrewing the bottle is always accompanied by a certain care, after all the cork leaves at high speed and can hurt some unsuspecting.
But did you know that the pressure that sends the cork away is three times that of a car tire? Measured in pounds per inch (PSI), the bottle pressure reaches 90 PSI, while the average vehicle tire is only 30 PSI. This is why the corks come protected by a muselet (that wire that comes at the end of the bottle).
Cooking alcohol always brings warnings and more warnings about the possibility of combustion; so, no getting that close to the fire. Alcohol found in beverages such as rum, vodka or whiskey is not as effective as combustion - and you are probably aware of it. However, the fact is that any drink of this kind can catch fire, as it is not the liquid that actually ignites but its vapor.
If you try to ignite some vodka with a match, nothing will happen; However, if you use a lighter or a larger flame, it will heat the drink, increase steam production and cause it to ignite. This is true even for low alcohol beverages.
You may also have heard that it is healthy to drink a small glass of wine daily or that beer can have some health benefits, provided it is moderately consumed, of course. But what you didn't know is that alcohol is considered medicinal in some places in Europe and North America.
As the US State Board of Licensing and Medical Examination's "Pocket Book for Useful Drugs" says, "Small doses [of alcohol] produce euphoria, stimulate respiration, moderately dilate skin and splanchnic vessels, and modify circulation." . The conclusion is: "Alcohol is used as a diffusible, diuretic, sudorific and hypnotic stimulant."
But the same book makes one important recommendation clear: In most cases, alcohol is "capable of doing more harm than good."
Hot but cold body
It is common to hear that a dose of some distillate helps to protect from the cold. When you drink rum, tequila, or brandy, for example, you feel warm, but know that this is a body illusion.
Here's how it works: When you feel cold, blood circulates less on the surface of the body and more on the inside, ensuring the proper functioning of vital organs. When you drink, alcohol causes the superficial blood vessels to dilate, causing the blood to return there.
However, when the life-giving red liquid returns to the central organs, it is colder and decreases its average temperature. The consequence of this can be hypothermia with fatal consequences.
This is perhaps the most bizarre of all curiosities. Alcohol clouds are known to be floating in space, some of them covering distances of about 460 billion kilometers. Most, however, are methanol, a highly toxic and combustible alcohol.
However, it is estimated that there is plenty of ethanol scattered throughout the outer space, something like 4 dose septilions. The value is unimaginable, but it is certain that if one day you can reach the space, you will not need to do kitty with friends to buy more drinks at the end of the barbecue.
No one has yet figured out why so much floating cachaça roamed the space, but alcohol is known to play a key role in the birth of a star - and we are not talking about celebrities “driven” by excessive alcohol consumption.