The Human Stomach is Tougher Than You Think

The human body is an amalgam of organs and biological mechanisms that flow as one complex, cohesive unit. The beauty of the human body is that there’s not a single muscle or organ that doesn’t serve a purpose. Still, there are things about our bodies that are tough to explain. For instance, the stomach — that poor little pouch behind the belly button that kept us home from school all those days we were feeling under the weather as a child — can perform some pretty amazing feats that would shock you. In fact, did you know that the human stomach can dissolve razor blades? Don’t panic, but it’s true. Acids are ranked on a scale from 0 to 14 — the lower the pH level, the stronger the acid. Human stomach acid is typically 1 to 2, meaning that it has an incredibly strong pH. In a study published in the journal Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, scientists found that the “thickened back of a single-edged blade” dissolved after 2 hours of immersion in stomach acid. That doesn't mean you should go home and swallow a handful of razor blades or other metal objects — not just because you're liable to slice your esophagus open in the process. It’s because our stomachs are only able to dissolve certain types of metals. That's why when babies accidentally swallow pennies — without getting too graphic — they're likely to see them again within 48 hours. Research has shown that while metal razor blades become increasingly more brittle as they are processed through the stomach, pennies suffer no corrosion at all, staying fully intact through the process. So, if you happen to swallow a razor blade, don't get too excited. It'll all come out in the wash.