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2000 Personal Accounts
The Darwin Awards salutes the spirit portrayed in the following personal accounts, submitted by loyal (and sometimes reluctant) readers. Next


Cesium Initiative
(Siezing the Initiative)
2000 Personal Account

Michael says, "This sounds fishy. Cesium is highly explosive in water, but ten grams will not generate that much explosive pressure. Any bomber knows you need a tight container to get a big bang.

True or false?
You decide.

(New York) Stewart had always been interested in science. During a demonstration at his high school, Stewart saw that the elements lithium, sodium, and potassium all react with water. While assessing the periodic table, he noticed they were all in the same row, and became more reactive as they increased in mass. The last naturally occurring element in that column was cesium, an extremely reactive metal that catastrophically explodes in contact with water.

Stewart used most of his money to buy a small amount of cesium, just 10 grams or enough to blow up a city block, from eBay with the help of his father and a credit card. When the ampoule of cesium arrived, he took it for a boat ride. After cracking the vacuum-sealed glass container, he threw the cesium out into Lake Erie... and was never seen again.

One can only assume that he was instantly blown to smithereens by the chemical reaction. People heard the blast on the coast 5 miles away. Perhaps he should have opted for a less reactive metal, and only blown up a few fish.

The lesson?
Don't wash your hands with cesium.
It will have an adverse affect your health. © 1994 - 2012
Submitted by: Goober Guy

Cesium Price at Alpha Chemicals
Cesium FAQs

Dave Gardner says, "10 grams of caesium may not react violently enough to be heard five miles away, as claimed above, 2 grams potassium killed a chemistry teacher a few years ago in a class experiment. Tlast incinerated a 6-meter crater around her. Caesium is much more powerful, so it's likely this one is true, albeit exaggerated.

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