What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Liquid Nitrogen?

Liquid nitrogen should really be called "liquid frostbite." Vice writes that this ultra-cold chemical's temperature falls between minus-320 degrees minus-346 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the stuff used to destroy warts and shatter the T-1000 into thousands of pieces. But as UK resident Gaby Scanlon tragically illustrated, it can be the stuff of medical nightmares when unsafely added to a drink.

That drink was a Jagermeister, whose name somewhat ominously translates to "master hunter" in German. It tastes a lot like liquid licorice, which translates to a mistake in any language unless your tongue is fluent in acquired tastes. But there are no words that can truly capture the awful mistake Oscar's Wine Bar and Bistro made when it served Scanlon a shot of their Nitro-Jagermeister cocktail on her 18th birthday. As the BBC details, Scanlon was completely unaware of how much danger she held in her hand. When she downed the Nitro-Jagermeister, it shot through her stomach like a cold-blooded hunter.

A mistake that takes the birthday cake

Scanlon buckled with excruciating pain as liquid nitrogen ate a hole through her stomach wall. Per the BBC, physicians were forced to remove her stomach and attach her esophagus to her small bowel. This horrific ordeal wasn't just some bizarre freak accident. A court slapped Oscar's Wine Bar with a £100,000 fine for failing to ensure that the drink was safe for consumption. Meanwhile, their error robbed Scanlon of her ability to enjoy food. She no longer knew when she was full and had to cut certain foods out of her diet. She wasn't the only person to pay dearly for this sort of mistake.

As Vice recounts, in 2018, Stacy Wagner was celebrating her birthday at a Florida hotel when she noticed a dessert that seemed to smoke after having liquid poured on it. She asked the waiter to create that same "cool" effect with her water. It only took a single sip to decimate her digestive system. Wagner had to have her gallbladder and a "dead portion of her stomach" removed. Understandably, she sued. The FDA expressly warns against consuming foods or beverages immediately after they've been treated with liquid nitrogen. Even once the fancy food fog has lifted, it can pose life-threatening injuries. Given the risks, liquid nitrogen is a birthday wish that probably shouldn't be granted.