(5 December 2009, Russia)
A 25-year-old chemistry student of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute had
acquired the peculiar habit of dipping his chewing gum in citric acid
crystals while he worked, presumably to add a zesty flavor. He was hunched
over at a computer in his parents' house in the northern Ukraine city of
Konotop when, whether by intention or inattention, the student dunked his
gum into an unidentified chemical and stuck it back into his mouth.
A loud pop was heard coming from his room. (Reports really said that!)
Putting aside the question of what he was doing with chemicals at home, the
student was well aware of the need to keep them away from food. Every
academic laboratory emphasizes the importance of never eating near
chemicals because it is easy to confuse a tasty beverage with a toxic
liquid, or salt your salad with arsenic. But there he was, deceased, the
lower part of his face blown off.
A forensic examination established that the remains of the chewing gum was
covered with a dangerous unknown substance that the local laboratory
presently did not have the necessary equipment to identify. Police found
packets of citric acid and packets of a similar-looking unidentified
explosive material, and think the student simply confused the two.
"Blowing the ultimate bubble."
"New Chewing Gum Flavor: Explosive"
"Chin up, old chap, by gum."
"Must have been one hell of a bubble."
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Submitted by: Robert Miller, Maarten Horeman, Stephen Mayo, Stigmartyr, Alice Cascorbi, and 119 others.
Reference: lenta.ru, www.en.rian.ru, RIA Novosti, etc.