A Good Poop

Injurious (and occasionally deadly) microwaves

Frey FJ. [Microwave-induced heating injury] Ther Umsch. 2004 Dec;61(12):703-6. German.

This one’s in German. Though I no spreken ze deutch, the translated abstract tells the sad medical tale of a diabetic who was burnt by a warm-up pillow that was overheated in a microwave. The burns lead to amputation followed by infection with MRSA (a super-antibiotic-resistant bacterium) with subsequent heart attack and death. Total bummer.

Dixon JJ, Burd DA, Roberts DG. Severe burns resulting from an exploding teat on a bottle of infant formula milk heated in a microwave oven. Burns. 1997 May;23(3):268-9.

This is definitely the most horrifying paper I’ve ever come across. New parents, please take note and be careful!

Fung AE, Oxford KW. Microwave-superheated Vics Vapo Rub: an ocular public health danger. Am J Ophthalmol. 2004 Feb;137(2):379-80.

People heat that stuff in the microwave?! It contains menthol, which is going to create a cooling sensation anyway!

Berestizshevsky S, Goldenberg-Cohen N, Friling R, Weinberger D, Snir M. Ocular injury in children from exploding microwaved eggs. Am J Ophthalmol. 2005 Apr;139(4):718-9.

Note to self: never heat an egg in the microwave. Unless I want to see it blow up. Which I kind of do, I’m not going to front. Also, I wear glasses, so nice try ocular injury!

DeToledo JC, Lowe MR. Microwave oven injuries in patients with complex partial seizures. Epilepsy Behav. 2004 Oct;5(5):772-4.

So apparently people don’t feel pain when they have a complex partial seizure. It makes handling hot food a serious problem.

Donohue KG, Nahm WK, Badiavas E, Li L, Pedvis-Leftick A. Hot pop brown spot: erythema Ab igne induced by heated popcorn. J Dermatol. 2002 Mar;29(3):172-3.

This isn’t exactly an injury, but it’s got a groovy title. Also, erythema ab igne seems more like the results of somebody randomly pressing on a keyboard and less like the name of an actual skin condition. Just saying.


  1. #1 Scotty B
    February 26, 2008

    I once exploded an egg in a microwave at an old job (didn’t know it would explode). Let me tell you this is not something you will want to do in your own home. First, it smells pretty bad and second its a real pain to clean the resulting egg mess from the interior surfaces of the microwave.

    FYI, we tried an orange next hoping that at least it would make the place smell nicer, but the attempt proved unsuccessful as the orange remained intact. Perhaps we didn’t leave it in long enough.

  2. #2 Jyotsana
    February 27, 2008

    Several years ago a friend of mine decided to reheat a couple of hard boiled eggs in the microwave. The first egg exploded almost as soon as the timer went off (no injuries, just a large mess). The second egg he placed on the counter to cool while he cleaned up the remains of the first egg. Ten minutes later, just as he was done cleaning, the second egg finally detonated and he was forced to start cleaning all over again.

  3. #3 BioGeek
    March 6, 2008

    Some years ago I saw a street show in Barcelona where the performer blowed up several things in a microwave. He started with eggs in a condom (no need to clean out the whole microwave afterwards), progressed to blowing up containers with yoghurt and random fruits and vegetables to the highlight of the show: blowing up a coconut. It took like 10 minutes at full power (all the while the performer was cracking jokes to keep our attention) but eventually the coconut exploded with a big ban, and a force so big that the microwave door flew open. Really neat!

  4. #4 bob smith
    March 24, 2008

    i blew up a human head in the microwave. in order to do this, you must first seal the neck opening, making it air tight. leave it in the microwave about 6 – 7 minutes. the eyes will burst first, then the head will bust open, in an exciting display of skull, brains, and assorted cranial contents. well worth the effort!

  5. #5 holycrap08
    March 25, 2008

    Yeah, blowing up eggs…painful memories! I decided one day to microwave an egg in a bowl of water thinking that it would do the same thing as the stove, except faster. Well, it all seemed to go okay and I pulled the egg out of the microwave and brought it over to the sink. I rinsed it off and gently cracked the shell. Then, I placed my thumb nail in the crack and punctured the inner membrane of the shell that still had it sealed…and BOOM!!!!!! Egg EVERY WHERE! Oh, and I got some very painful burns to my face and eye (I was leaning over it) and my thumb. I learned a painful lesson.

  6. #6 kanser
    March 30, 2008

    Really nice while reading your articles.And the links are very usefull for us.thanks

  7. #7 miles
    April 18, 2008

    I had a microwaved hard-boiled egg blow up as I bit into it, and I can tell you, it doesn’t just “pop”. Two friends who were in the next room clearly heard it explode…and then my shouts of pain from the steam burns to my lips.

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