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A Cid are you OK?

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.


Puzzle ID:#10526
Fun:*** (2.81)
Difficulty:** (1.85)
Submitted By:OD-1Aca****




Cid was working near the acid vats one day when he noticed some aluminum on the floor that was quite corroded from some of the acid that had spilled on it. Cid then made his way to the top of the vat to inspect some equipment. The plant manager was conducting a tour and happened to be coming by the vats just then. He pointed to the warning signs on the vats that read "caution: corrosive" and went to move on, but as luck would have it Cid recognized someone in the tour group and leaning over the railing to wave, slipped and plunged into the vat. The crowd gasped sure that the Cid would be instantly dissolved by the acid. Another worker rushed over and pulled Cid out. Cid, none the worse except for being rather embarrassed and very soggy yelled down "I'm ok". The plant manager remarked that wasn't part of the tour and asked people to move on. Cid wasn't wearing any protective clothing or had any special protection form the acid when he fell in.

So why was he unharmed (other than his ego) ?


Cid works at a pickling factory and fell into a vat of acetic acid or vinegar. Vinegar will corrode aluminum and other metals but has little effect on skin.

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Feb 25, 2003

I would not want a pickle from that vat.
Apr 07, 2003

Good riddle.
Apr 11, 2003

Good one. You probably got most readers, 'cause I'm sure very few people actually think of vinegar.
Jul 31, 2004

I wasn't pickled on this one. Good one.
Feb 26, 2006

Actually, if you fell into a vat full of 100% acetic acid, you would dissolve very quickly. You would also dissolve in 5% acetic acid (which is vineager), though you would drown long before that.
Nov 07, 2013

I'm sorry, but this is fundamentally incorrect. Vinegar is an extremely weak aqueous solution of acetic acid. Pure acetic acid is extremely dangerous and a potent irritant. You wouldn't dissolve if you fell into a vat of it, but you would suffocate, and the chemical burns would make you go blind.
Nov 07, 2013

For reference, I'm an organic chemist.

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