Here's What Would Happen If Your Body Was Microwaved

Microwaves are an extremely common kitchen appliance. Invented and patented in 1946, the appliance didn't become a mainstay in many homes until the late '60s (via Popular Mechanics). Since then, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 90% of all American households own a working microwave.

The main purpose of the appliance is to heat and cook foods in a quick and timely manner, which it does by using electromagnetic radiation, says U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This invisible energy works by passing microwaves through the food, or whatever is inside the appliance, which in turn makes the substance warm and ready to eat. Over time, people have heated up everything in a typical microwave from food and liquid to disinfecting beauty products and kitchen sponges. But what would happen if you microwaved a human body? If a microwave can heat and cook the flesh of animals, surely it can cook that of a human, right?

Microwaving a human

It's common knowledge that the only known (and acceptable) practice of overheating any human body is called cremation, which only applies after death. The people who are legally in charge of that typically work in a crematorium, and in many cases funeral homes have cremation facilities on site. Even hospitals function that way. But the cremation oven is a lot different from a microwave oven.

Cremation requires somewhere between 1,400 and 1,800 degrees of flaming heat to get its job done of turning human flesh into ashes, per Local Cremation and Funerals. A typical household microwave, however, operates at an extremely much lower level, and can't even be seen. Per Temperature Master, a microwave's highest temperature point is 212 degrees — a vast difference from a cremation chamber. So what would happen if a human body were to end up in one? 

Per the FDA, the microwave can heat human skin. The microwave will do its intended job of heating and will start to burn (or cook) the skin tissue.

The effects of microwaving a human body

But there are parts of the human body that are more prone to "cooking" fast, such as the eyeballs and testes. But it wouldn't do the same harm to the body as an oven. Since the heat difference is astronomically poles apart it wouldn't affect the skin the same but still would have impact. As you'd imagine, the skin of a human body being microwaved would sustain a lot of burns but it wouldn't be hot enough to cause any damage to any major organs (via Gizmodo). Although you could come out relatively unscathed, there are some studies that show that microwaves in general can have an effect on the brain due to the radiation involved. Which means, actually being inside a microwave would have a much more clear effect, particularly on the nervous system, which is said to be a major area that will definitely incur some kind of damage (via Military Medical Research).

Too many microwaves are also not a good idea for the brain, per an article in Biomedical Reports, posted at the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Microwaves can reach deep into the brain, and cause "cerebral contusion in the cortex."