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Hear me out; this *is* a chemistry question

  1. Feb 25, 2005 #1
    I understand that religious discussion is not want is wanted here, but it's just the pretext to my question that's religious based.

    I recently decided to read the Apocrypha. Sounded interesting. Anyway, when I got to The Book of Bel and The Dragon, there was this verse, which struck me as particularily interesting:

    1:27 Then Daniel took pitch, and fat, and hair, and did seethe them together, and made lumps thereof: this he put in the dragon's mouth, and so the dragon burst in sunder : and Daniel said, Lo, these are the gods ye worship.

    Now, what I'm wondering (and the only reason I'm bringing this up here), is what would this do? It seems to be an extremely early reference to use of explosives, which is fascinating in a purely historical sense, but what sort of material would actually be formed by boiling a mixture of pitch, fat, and hair? Would this have some explosive tendency, as can be interpretted from the passage?

    I'm a chemistry major, but I haven't even gone through Organic yet, so if any of you know anything about the properties this would (or would not) have, I would greatly appreciate the knowledge.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2005 #2


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    Pitch, fat, and hair? Sounds like a good way to caulk a hollow casting to get a boiler explosion (vapors from assorted sacrificial offerings furnishing the trapped gases).
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