276 votes

Are 19.6 pounds of CO2 produced from burning a gallon of gasoline?

This is directly addressed by the US Department of Energy at FuelEconomy.gov: It seems impossible that a gallon of gasoline, which weighs about 6.3 pounds [2.9 kg], could produce 20 pounds [9.1 kg] ...
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  • 133k
92 votes

Does microwaving food create particles that are not created when warming food by conventional means?

The English abstract of Zur Frage der Aminosäureisomerisierung im Mikrowellenfeld Ergebnisse eines Modellversuches mit Standardlösungen [The question of amino acid isomerization in a microwave field ...
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  • 98.2k
74 votes

Is Adrenochrome an addictive drug only obtained by drinking blood?

You can just buy adrenochrome, e.g. here from Sigma-Aldrich. It's somewhat expensive for a relatively simple chemical, but not as expensive as it would have to be if the only way to acquire it would ...
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  • 41.9k
59 votes
Accepted

Are recent claims from India of a car fueled by water and calcium carbide legitimate?

The car does not run on water. The article you link says quite clearly that "The car runs on acetylene gas". Acetylene is an explosive gas that is used for welding, and before the invention of ...
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  • 5,861
49 votes

Can the molecular bond angle of water be changed via distillation?

The linked site mentions that this has been validated by the USPTO. Not true. John Ellis has a few patents on distillers that do not mention hydrogen bonds (from USPTO patent search site with search ...
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  • 1,180
46 votes
Accepted

Has carbon dating indicated that live humans are 4000 years old?

The use of Carbon-14 for dating is not completely precise. In general, 500 years is the minimum and 50,000 years is the maximum due to the need to calibrate for background C-14 levels, and to have ...
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  • 5,926
45 votes
Accepted

Is sugar one element away from cocaine or any other drug?

First of all I will assume that by sugar we mean sucrose, which is the common table sugar. Here is the structural formula for sucrose: Source: Wikipedia - Sucrose If you are not familiar with ...
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  • 6,298
45 votes
Accepted

Is all disease caused by the electron spin of food?

The quoted text seems to refer to quantum-mechanical "spin". However "left" or "right" spin are not part of that concept, and it has nothing at all to do with the food we ...
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  • 15.7k
43 votes
Accepted

Are chemicals used to ripen fruit in developing countries harmful to the health of consumers?

To answer my last point first, I checked a local shopping site (which sells EVERYTHING), and 'karbit' or 'carbide' is indeed often not carbide at all. Ethephon Several sellers sold 'karbit' which was ...
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  • 3,781
35 votes

Can the molecular bond angle of water be changed via distillation?

There is a lot to unpack from that site; the majority of it seems to have little basis in reality. The short answer is that you cannot permanently change the hydrogen bond angle (104.5°) in water. ...
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  • 451
30 votes
Accepted

Are 19.6 pounds of CO2 produced from burning a gallon of gasoline?

This answer provides an example on how to address this question by citing basic science. Please ignore any voting on it. I won't perform any calculation here as they are not on topic on Skeptics, but ...
25 votes

Is sugar one element away from cocaine or any other drug?

"One element away" is pretty much nonsense, and there are lots of kinds of sugar. Let's ask a more targeted question: Are some sugars closely related chemically to cocaine or any other drug? Yes, ...
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22 votes

Would drinking a glass of glyphosate be harmful

There are several studies examining the intake of glyphosate, in many cases even deliberate intakes as a method of suicide. Most of these studies are not freely accessible (behind pay-walls), but in ...
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19 votes

Is alcohol for consumption tested for carbon-14 radioactivity to be considered legal?

The accepted answer on this is many years old but it also appears to be wrong. There is a very informative snopes article on the matter. which specifically references the source used in the accepted ...
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  • 9,406
17 votes

Are towers being built in China that can turn smog into diamonds?

It's possible, but not so incredible. The article writer loves to paint a picture of towers which clean the air and by a magical process, produce diamonds. It is real and possible, but less ...
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  • 287
17 votes
Accepted

Is Roundup weed killer carcinogenic?

There is no consistent evidence showing a relationship between glyphosate and cancer There are a lot of studies on the relationship between glyphosate use and cancer. Some are small and poor; others ...
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  • 54.7k
16 votes
Accepted

Did silver mostly not tarnish before the Industrial Revolution?

Silver tarnish is silver sulfide, which forms in the presence of hydrogen sulfide.[1] Pre-industrial sources for hydrogen sulfide include volcanic activity (e.g. hot springs), tanneries, sewage, ...
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  • 18.8k
15 votes

Does copy paper become "old and yellow"?

Your co-worker is right, normal paper deteriorates due to its acidity and due to oxidation. Paper in Europe was originally made from cellulose sourced from linen and cotton rags. This made strong ...
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  • 1,591
15 votes

Does detergent help clean clothes in washing machines?

It seems like there are two parts to this question, and, perhaps, OP will tighten up the language a bit. Do we need to use detergent in washing machines? Depends on what you want when you wash ...
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  • 9,368
13 votes

Do atoms exist?

IBM had a great project that provided pictures and even a video of atoms. The video is called "A Boy and His Atom." It holds the Guinness World Records record for the World's Smallest Stop-Motion Film,...
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12 votes

Is an ice-cream tub made of a single molecule?

While the claim is certainly false for thermoplastic polymers like polyethylene, it's far more likely to be true for thermoset polymers such as polyurethanes, epoxies or phenolics such as Bakelite (...
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12 votes

Do extreme homeopathic dilutions still retain quantities of the starting materials?

This Indian Institute of Technology Bombay press release quotes some research papers This isn't really true. It is just one research paper, and one comment on said research paper. Also, it merely ...
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  • 98.2k
12 votes

Does cow urine contain gold?

According to Metabolomic and elemental analysis of camel and bovine urine by GC–MS and ICP–MS Saudi Journal of Biosciences volume 24, pages 23-29 (January 2017): Bovine urine contained 0.005673 ppm ...
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  • 98.2k
12 votes

Does microwaving food create particles that are not created when warming food by conventional means?

Not food, but microwave-vs.-conventional heating is a branch of chemistry: Comparison of Conventional and Microwave-assisted Synthesis of Benzotriazole Derivatives. So the basic idea that different ...
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11 votes

Does cow urine contain gold?

Summary: Gold is found in trace amounts all over the place, including cow urine. Gold is found in trace amounts in many things. From the report Gold Content of Water, Plants, and Animals. Sea ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Do transparent beer bottles allow UV rays oxidise the beer faster?

Current evidence: Skunky-smelling compounds (3-methylbut-2-ene-1-thiol) are formed in beer due to sunlight breaking down alpha acids in hops (flavoring and stability agent in beer) that react with ...
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  • 22.5k
11 votes

Are 19.6 pounds of CO2 produced from burning a gallon of gasoline?

It is possible to verify this idea from multiple sources that are independent of the U.S. Government. I'm going to leave verifying the exact numbers in the question out of scope of this answer, for ...
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  • 429
9 votes
Accepted

Can thunderstorms curdle milk?

A correlation between thunderstorms and the souring or curdling of milk has been observed for hundreds of years. According to the 1685 book The Paradoxal Discourses of F. M. Van Helmont: Concerning ...
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  • 98.2k
9 votes

Are pomegranate seeds edible?

I've been served pomegranate seeds by our canteen contractor on a regular basis, as a "special extra" on burgers... They are definitely edible (and high in fiber!). They contain anthocyanins, which ...
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  • 18.8k
8 votes

Is CPH4 from science fiction movie 'Lucy' real?

There's a group of molecule called Protocadherin-2 (Pcad-2) that become visible along the nerve fiber in the brain stem at the 8th week, and spread over the entire brain at the 11th week. At the ...
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