Mountain Dew Mice Experiment Begins!

I told you I was serious.

Yesterday I posted a quick post about doing experiments with mice after reading Pepsi’s explanation about why a mouse could not have been found in a can of Mountain Dew.

Apparently, a man from Illinois allegedly grabbed a can of Mountain Dew from a vending machine, opened it, drank, and then became violently ill.

He claims to have poured the mountain dew into a Styrofoam cup, and upon doing so, a mouse plopped out of the can.

Pepsi claims this could not have happened, as the acid in Mountain Dew would have dissolved a mouse.

I thought: “Experiment time!”,  went to the store and procured 12 mice.

WARNING: Tiny clickable thumbnails of dead mice in jars below the fold. The thumbnails are pretty safe, even if you’re squeamish about dead mice.

 

Click the images to see them full size and uncropped.

 

 

I decided that not only did I want to put mice in Mountain Dew to see if they would dissolve, but I also wanted to have controls. Mostly, this is because a lot of people seem to extrapolate that if Mountain Dew can dissolve mice, it must be dangerous. If plain water or lemon juice does the same thing, then we can reject the claim, “Mountain Dew dissolves mice, therefore Mountain Dew is dangerous” (It’s probably still not good for you, but I love it, so sue me.)

Since I am unsure of the size of the mouse allegedly found in the Mountain Dew can (the reports claim the man poured the mouse out of the can, which means the mouse must have necessarily fit through the mouth of the can, unless by “poured out” he meant, “cut the can open and dumped out”) I picked up two sizes of mice – little baby pinkie mice which would fit through the mouth of a can, and adult mice. I purchased these mice frozen, prekilled, from a local pet store.

I purchased six of each size mouse for each of six different experimental environments for a total of 12 jars:

1. Control mouse: no liquid, just a mouse in a sealed jar.

2. Water mouse: Mouse in plain tap water.

3. Lemon mouse: Mouse with water + lemon juice.

4. Lemonade mouse: Mouse with water + lemon juice + the same amount of sugar in grams as found in Mountain Dew.

5. Corn syrup mouse: Mouse with water + lemon juice + the same amount of corn syrup in grams as found in Mountain Dew. (a reader suggestion, thanks Kate from Iowa!)

6. Mountain Dew mouse: Obvious.

Unfortunately, my PH meter is missing a part, and the PH testing kit I picked up with the mice only measured PH from 6.0 to 8.0, which is way too basic. So, I just picked an amount of lemon juice that seemed reasonable (about 1/4 mason jar full) I can still get a proper PH testing kit to test the PH of the mice later, though.

I filled all of the jars such that hardly any air remained at the top, except for the control mice with no liquid at all. I gave them all a good shake for good measure, especially the sugar/corn syrup ones, to dissolve the sugar.

Obviously, this experiment is for fun and NOT rigorous. My study has many limitations. This is “scientific” in the same way just about any experiment in your kitchen might be. It’s not blinded. The mice aren’t in aluminum cans. The Dew is not freshly bottled, etc.

I am working on a video of the setup process for Youtube, so stay tuned, it will go up whenever I finish editing.

 

Learn more about Christina and follow her @ziztur.

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