What would happen if I jumped in a pool full of alcohol?


Saturday 16 November 2013 01:00

You would find it much harder than usual to swim and might drown in an unusually horrible way, for two reasons:

1) Distilled liquors have quite a bit lower density (and thus less buoyancy) than a swimming pool because alcohol is lighter than water. You cannot float in 80-proof [40 per cent] alcohol – even with lungs fully inflated, your body is denser than the liquor and you will sink if you stop swimming.

2) The fumes will probably cause you to choke and cough. It will be extremely difficult to get a good breath of air, and what you do inhale may cause you to get drunk to the point of passing out. Then you will pass out, inhale liquid, and die. What I don't know is whether the asphyxiation or alcohol poisoning will kill you first.

Ryan Carlyle, BSChE, Subsea Hydraulics Engineer


The alcohol level doesn't need to be very high for such an action to prove fatal. At the Silver Sage Winery, in Oliver, BC, Canada, a worker fell into a fermentation vat full of grape juice that was on its way to being wine, so probably only about 10 per cent alcohol. The owner of the winery jumped in to help the worker get out, and both men died, overcome by fumes.

Andrei Godoroja, software engineer


One consequence: your suicide by drowning in booze would be a very expensive death. Even a small (12ft x 24ft) swimming pool holds 36,698 litres of water. So, even using cheap vodka at a cost of $10 (£6.20) per litre bottle, you're looking at a cost of almost $400k (£248k) for the booze. If you want to drown in Jack Daniels or single-malt scotch, double or triple the price. But on the plus side, you probably wouldn't have to pay for embalming your alcohol-soaked body!

Paul Zink


As you are in the air, you will likely begin to feel the effects of alcohol inhalation. Enjoy the few fractions of a second of buzz – things are about to get bad. As you hit, you'll get a preview of what you're in for. Small cuts on your feet and legs will sting, and maybe your skin will start to chill and feel like you just suddenly did the reverse of moisturising.

Then the real pain will start – as you hit the first sensitive parts of your body, where live cells are exposed, or where the skin is thinner and nerves are clustered. As your sexual organs and anus submerge you will feel pain like the wrong end of the nastiest bowl of Texas chilli you ever imagined.

Charles Bosse


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