Vomiting on Video: The Science Behind a Disgusting Pastime

The Internet. Not only is it a great way to stay up to date and connected with school work and professional interests as well as offer a limitless database of resources that can be researched, it also has an equally, if not larger, entertaining (and sometimes equally gross) side to it.

One of many “Internet Challenges,” the Milk Gallon Challenge often involves watching a group of teenagers puking their guts out, like the guys in this YouTube video.

Now, you may be wondering to yourself, how come these 3 grown adults can’t drink a gallon of milk in an hour? That seems easy I could do that! Trust me, it’s not anyone near as easy as you’d think. After watching some of these videos, I wondered if there was an actual reason behind why this challenge was so hard or if it was just magic. To my disappointment, the answer was not magic. Here are the reasons this challenge is so difficult:

  1. Drinking too much of any liquid, especially a whole gallon in an hour, is already dangerous for a person’s health. This is because as blood absorbs all of the liquid being pumped into someone’s system while doing something such as the milk gallon challenge, their red blood cells become hypertonic, coming dangerously close to bursting. This causes the body to reject the liquid, hence why anything spit back out is mostly fluid.
  2. The high levels of lactose in milk also pose a huge problem. Most animals do not have the ability to process lactose but humans have a limited supply of enzymes called lactase specially made to break down the lactose in milk. However, during the Milk Gallon Challenge, the supply of lactase is burned through quickly and any leftover lactose is rejected by the stomach because of the lack of any way to process it.
  3. Milk is packed with lots of essential vitamins and minerals but too much of these can be detrimental to a person’s health; especially a large dose of calcium. Since milk is so calcium rich, chugging a gallon of milk in an hour would be like eating a handful of 25 Tums tablets. This would create a massive spike in acidity in anyone’s stomach, giving that person another reason to throw up.
  4. Casein is also present in milk. When casein reacts with highly acidic substances it turns into cheese curds as shown is this YouTube video.

So, overall, it is wise to realize that with lots of free time comes great responsibility because something as seemingly harmless as drinking milk can have lots of unseen consequences.

About Mr. Mohn

Biology Teacher

This entry was written by Eric A. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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