Monday, January 09, 2012

Dead Things Decompose

From the water is wet files, a few news outlets and such have mentioned the ongoing case where a man states that he discovered a mouse in his soda can and is suing.  Now, as you may know, there has been an urban legend for a while about such a thing. 
The thing that has been drawing the attention is that contained within the list of reasons that the soda company gave for how this is simply not credible, they stated that a mouse left in a container of soda would have decomposed.  This has led to people swearing off that kind of soda or all soda.
And here's the thing, I won't promise you that soda is good for you.  But I do know that if I wanted to preserve a mouse carcass, or even, for that matter keep a mouse alive, I would not place the mouse in a container of liquid.  (Well, okay, probably formaldehyde would work on a dead mouse.  And yes, I do recommend drinking formaldehyde.)
There were also some emails that circulated once upon a time about teeth dissolving if you left them sitting in soda. Soda contains acid.  Given time acids dissolve things.  (Actually, that's kinda how your stomach works. Also, please follow this Snopes link for the hilarious story of testing leaving a fly in a cup of soda and a cup of drain cleaner. Lesson, flies should not drink drain cleaner.)
So, given enough time, leaving anything in a cup of acidic liquid will start to dissolve. 
And also included in this filing by the soda company was that based on a can provided, this can was sealed at the factory in August.  The can was purchased for drinking in November.  This is not overnight, we are talking.  This is three months.  So yes, I absolutely recommend not soaking your teeth, your fingers, your stomach or your pets in soda for about three months. 
The mouse the guy claims was in his soda was two to four weeks old.  Which means this mouse was not even born at the time the soda was sealed. So, the far more interesting thing is to me, not that the mouse would be decomposed after being submerged in soda for three months, but that someone found, took or otherwise procured a dead mouse (since the mouse autopsy apparently indicates the mouse did not drown, so was dead when it went in the soda) and then tried to sue a soda company.  But, YMMV.