Soylent but Deadly... tales of a soylent based explosions


#1

This was too good to not share here, lifted from this post in the subreddit:

This is a public service announcement.

If you leave soylent out unrefrigerated (DIY: Hackerschool, in this
case), it typically takes more than a day for fermentation to begin in
earnest. Once that happens, however, it will generate CO2 quite
quickly. If the fermenting soylent is in a sealed container (A blender
bottle, for example) this will generate pressure. If the pressure
becomes too great, the container will give way (of, if you’re lucky, the
cap will pop open) and launch fermenting soylent all over the inside of
your cubicle.

Your co-workers will subsequently make fun of you, or at least that
is what happened to me. I spent the morning scraping soylent from the
ceiling, floor, walls, monitors, etc. Beware: Sealed soylent, if left
forgotten too long, could become a soylent bomb.

From beerlent to ‘bomblent,’ do the applications know no bounds?


#2

OMG… can anyone verify if that’s real??? Hilarious sure, but almost too perfect…


#3

In a couple instances, I’ve overestimated the power of a thermos to keep soylent cold, and opened up to varying degrees of pressure (occasionally making it difficult to get the cap off). I can only imagine that given enough time that it can make a hell of a mess.


#4

If I get a chance, I’ll go find an old fish tank and a webcam to setup an experiment in my garage.


#5

I have had a “brew” go bad after a day and a half ( I forgot I had left 470ml in a stainless steel thermos)
When I got to it, it was not quite at projectile vomiting stage, but it was very whiffy and under pressure. I have no doubt that give it a week and the cheap Kmart thermos might have become a “Schmoylotof Cocktail” (TM, patent pending)


#6

From the OP:

Soylent, indeed, but certainly not silent.

I brought the bottle in question to work on Friday to have for lunch.
We had a catered meeting, so it went back home and into the fridge
(They’re still drinkable after just one day at room temp, I find).
Mistake # 1: I left it in the fridge all weekend.

I had intended to keep it refrigerated until consumption, but I got my bottles swapped, and ended up bringing it back to work on Monday. During that work day, I received a warning shot. The lid bust open with a bang that resembled the sound of a Champagne cork.
There was no mess here, just noise. People came by my desk to see if I
was OK, it was that loud. Mistake # 2: I re-capped the bottle.

I made a mental note to bring it home and dump it down the drain.
Mistake # 3: I forgot it at work and (Mistake # 4) decided it wasn’t
worth going back for even though I knew that fermentation had begun.
Surely it would survive the night.

The second explosion happened when nobody was around. Now I have
chia seeds embedded in the ceiling tile above my desk (the texture made
cleaning difficult). So far, HR doesn’t know the story, but it’s only a
matter of time.


#7

Oh… oh man… I can verify with a story of my own. So a little over a year ago when me and my roommates were DIYing, one of them misplaced his thermos (one of these guys; it’s important to the story) one day. I didn’t know this, but he had set it down in the living room behind a lazy boy recliner, and had our DIY in there. So I’m behind the lazy boy by about 12 feet, where the desktop was set up, playing Half-Life 2, with my in-ear monitors (really nice headphones - audiophile/professional musician quality [they block out 29db of outside noise]) playing away and all of a sudden there was an explosion so loud I thought an actual bomb went off, and then some metal object flew past my head and ricochet off the wall on the other side of me, it went so fast that I only saw it after the ricochet. Then then stench! Oh my word, how awful the stench. What had happened was that the soylent fermented for a solid week until the screw top in the thermos failed, and it exploded and drove the lid off the back of the recliner (with another roommate sitting in it who thought he’d been shot), 15’ or so to the back wall, bouncing off the back wall and landing further forward than it had been to begin with. It did some damage to the cap, put a nice pretty dent in the very solid wall, and probably would’ve sent one of us to the hospital had we been hit directly.

Moral of the story: soylent will create a bomb (a very, very stinky bomb) if you leave it sit for too long.


#8

OMFGROFLMAO… I’m wiping tears from my eyes. Wow. That’s insane… glad nobody was hurt but just imagine the story you’d get to tell your grandchildren about that scar… LOL


#9

So now we just wait and brace ourselves for the “see what soylent does to your insides” crowd. “Your guts will explode, Rar Rar.”


#10

I foresee a warning label on future packages. Seriously the force could seriously injure someone. Very humorous to read these stories, but man I hope nobody gets hurt.


#11

So far I’ve only seen reports like this with DIY… I wonder if it could happen with 1.0?


#12

Fermentation builds pressure, if you have something that holds a lot of pressure before failing, then you can have it happen with 1.0


#13

Yeah I suppose it wouldn’t matter… I just wonder if maybe there are ingredients that DIYers are using, that are more prone to fermentation than 1.0? No idea if it’s true or not, just a passing curiosity.


#14

I cannot corroborate any of this. I think I am too OCD about things. If I take DIY Soylent to work I uncork it every hour to drink a little, and I never leave anything food-related at work, fridge or not.

If you want a real surprise, empty a can of black beans in a tupperware container and put that lid on tight. Do not open for over a week. No explosion, but the smell is wonderful. Bonus points for opening that chemical warfare container at your place of employment.


#15

In that same link, “The lid bust open with a bang that resembled the sound of a Champagne cork.” - hmm.
I guess dont store it, just drink it right away or leave the lid loose.

So soylent can also be used in revolutions to keep the attacking government away. Its a plus point.


#16

Perhaps Jamie et al of myth busters fame can do a series of experiments.

Or… any wannabe Jamies with too much time on thier hands, a packet of official soylent and a YouTube account want to give it a go?

@vanclute I am looking at you :slight_smile:


#17

And waste perfectly good food? Isn’t that rather antithetical to the soylent cause? LOL


#18

It’s in the name of science bro. And no kittens will be harmed.

I figure a camera at a high frame rate on loop record, and some way to notify you when it goes off, and stop recording then. A gopro with a 64gb microsd card would be ample… Need to run it off a plug pack, and choose a 100fps frame rate, set up a low power light source that also gives the brew a bit of extra warmth. The camera would be protected in its plastic case. You’d need a skeleton case to get the USB cable out though. Or just any webcam that can loop record to your computer.

I reckon use a coke bottle - it would swell up and explode so choose a room you can hose down!


#19

Man maybe I should just drive up to M5 and ask to borrow some of their equipment.

Fun fact - years before there was a Mythbusters show, I met with Jamie when he had just moved his shop into that building and was looking to sub-lease some of the space. I was briefly considering moving my video post company up to SF, but didn’t go through with it. I don’t think he wanted me as a tenant anyway… I was a bit on the young side at the time and he was… a bit odd. Of course, now I know that he was just being Jamie. LOL

Oh and I have one of Adam’s business cards from back then around here somewhere. He claimed expertise in, among other things, scrambled eggs & toast.


#20

Ok, so here’s my Beerlent (fermenting Soylent) story:

I have a pretty plain thermos thingy I usually keep my soylent in. Just aluminum, with a hard plastic screw top with a rubbery gasket. Nothing fancy.

So I’d had it at work with me, and had consumed about 2/3 of the thermos. It had gotten warm-ish before I capped it for the day and went home. Well, I forgot it in my bag for a couple days…and then it sat a couple days longer because I didn’t want to deal with what I knew would be a SoyBomb. I finally worked up the courage to tackle the beastie, and this is what happened.

I was in the bathroom (because pouring beerlent down the kitchen sink is a Bad Idea ™, much better to flush it), prepped (or so I thought) for whatever might come out of this unfortunate container. I went to unscrew the top, and…couldn’t. It was stuck tight. The hairs on the back of my neck went up a little bit at this – I was clearly in deeper than I thought. “It’s pressure-locked,” I thought, “I’m in trouble.” I had barely cracked the seal when it started hissing. I unscrewed the cap a mere 1/4 turn, and the hissing got louder – more like a punctured car tire than the snake-y hissing of a mere second ago.

Gathering what courage I had left, I went for another 1/4 turn, thinking that if I could bleed off enough pressure I could avoid an explosion. It was just as I was having this clever thought that I spotted the gasket ballooning out like a hernia. I pointed the herniated gasket toward the waiting toilet bowl as fast as I could, and not a moment too soon, because a high-pressure jet of beerlent came firing out of my little thermos. Wanting to try and save the gasket, I tried to unscrew the top…but I’d barely touched it when the cap popped out and ricocheted around the adjacent shower. Beerlent – rancid, reeking beerlent – went all over the toilet and the tile (oddly but thankfully missing the rug), and to my moderate horror I spotted two globs of coagulated, fermented soylent clinging oozily to my shower curtain.

Horrified, and doing my best not to breathe, I cleaned up the bathroom and did my best to forget the whole incident.

A couple days later, though, my experience came back to me when I found a third, very sneaky glob of soylent dried like fucking glue to the shower curtain. It … hasn’t really come off yet. My only saving grace is that it hasn’t yet molded or something. It’s just there, bearing crusty witness to my laziness-induced misfortunes.