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mooeypoo

The effect of our Home Microwave on biological life forms

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Something REALLY bizzar just happened at my appartment.

 

I was hungry, and since today it's Pessach (jewish holiday), all the food in my house is reserved for the grand dinner - so I had nothing natural to eat. Being extremely hungry, and not wanting to eat my insides, I decided I'll warm some of those iced meals in my microwave.

 

I did.

And after 3 minutes, when I openned it and took the plate out, I discovered that appearantly - without noticing - a little ant found her way into my plate.

Disgusting as it is (I still ate it, I was hungry! :rolleyes: ) there's a few things I just couldn't avoid wondering:

 

  1. How the heck did that ant stay alive after being cooked for 3 mintues!?
  2. Will it suffer the consequences of microwave radiation later?
  3. Goddamnit, I need to clean my kitchen.
     
    If any of you guys could explain how the ant survived 3 minutes, and perhaps shed a light on the effects of microwave radiation on a biological life form, I'll be eternally greatful.
     
     
    I think I'll have nightmares dreaming on "The Fly" movie.. eeeuuugghhh..
     
    :eek:
     
    ~moo

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Where on the plate was the ant? If it was near the middle/center the water around it could have absorbed most of the radiation.

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No, It wasn't on the middle it was on the rim of the plate - but it was a relatively small plate.

 

But no if it was in the middle it would be boiled alive from the burning fluids ;)

 

still though... i know its not healthy getting the waves from OUTSIDE the microwaves.. so inside it? eeegh..

 

 

~moo

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Here's my reccomendation for an experiement....put some tin foil and cans of compressed air in the microwave...and an ant. Set it for 5 minutes. Take notes on the results.

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Perhaps you've noticed that microwaving gives you hot spots and cold spots - that's due to constructive and destructive interference of the microwaves. That's why some more expensive ovens have a turntable or "stirrer" - it minimizes the extrema. I'm guessing you don't have one of these. When you microwave for several minutes, some of the cold spots may warm up by conduction with adjacent food, but it's still a null of microwave energy.

 

So the ant probably just found a cold spot and camped out there. Ants can be small compared to the wavelength - 2.4 GHz is a little over 10 cm.

 

Neither your food nor the ant became radioactive - there's an important distinction between that and being irradiated. Microwaves don't ionize, so heating is the main effect. Most legitimate concerns of microwaving (e.g. loss of nutrition) stem from local overheating and the chemistry that happens when food gets really hot; the fact that microwaves cause the heating is incidental.

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that`s exactly what happened, they can dodge the wavelength as well as sense it before it gets too close to do harm, be under no illusions that had you sello-taped the ant down to your food, there wouldn`t have been much ant left :)

 

after your holliday, try this experiment (and it`s edible afterwards), crack open a few eggs, take only the albumen (not the yolk) and spread it evenly on your plate, put it in the microwave and watch closely, you`ll see some bits go white as it cooks and other bits that take quite a while to change, THAT is the effect of the MVR pattern emited from the waveguide :)

the ant stayed in the (takes a while to change ) bit :)

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Err, my microwave has a plate that goes round and round and-- err. The ant wasn't in the middle but it DID go in circles inside the microwave...

 

and YT: will that happen if the plate goes round in circles?

 

and I will :) as soon as I sleep after my 439564987683475 ton food meal.

goddamnit, jews eat too much...

 

 

-----

All the Jewish Holidays Moto:

"They tried to kill us, they failed, let's eat."

-----

 

 

~moo

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Err' date=' my microwave has a plate that goes round and round and-- err. The ant wasn't in the middle but it DID go in circles inside the microwave...

[/quote']

 

Ah, another theory slain by an ugly fact. :-(

 

My money is still on the ant finding a relative low amplitude path.

 

Unless he was running in the opposite direction of the rotation, and stayed put relative to the oven. :)

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Good point, but I have no way of proving that other than sticking a camera on its back :P

 

is it possible that the waves won't affect it directly but only cause a "later" affect? like the aunt dying a few hours / minutes later like happening to people being subjected to radiation?

 

~moo

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is it possible that the waves won't affect it directly but only cause a "later" affect? like the aunt dying a few hours / minutes later like happening to people being subjected to radiation?
Neither your food nor the ant became radioactive - there's an important distinction between that and being irradiated. Microwaves don't ionize, so heating is the main effect. Most legitimate concerns of microwaving (e.g. loss of nutrition) stem from local overheating and the chemistry that happens when food gets really hot; the fact that microwaves cause the heating is incidental.

Your answer...

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Humm, if the microwave's only effect on the food is heating it, perhaps it simply didn't get hot enough in the microwave to kill the ant. The microwave walls don't get hot, do they? Perhaps the ant wasn't on the plate the entire time you were cooking your meal. It might have been in a corner of a microwave initially and then crawled onto the plate when it smelled the food.

 

Since the topic is about biological life forms in general, I'd like to pose another question. Every so often, I microwave my damp kitchen sponge for a couple of minutes to kill any bacteria living in it. I assume steam would kill the bacteria, just like in an autoclave. But is a couple of minutes enough, or would I have to nuke the sponge for a longer time?

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Could the ant have been too small for the microwaves to effect it?

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Yeah, a friend of mine did a report on microwaves. He said that an ant won't die in the microwave because it's too small. Microwaves have more affect on larger objects because it uses waves. That's all I got out of his minute of spewing knowledge on the microwave.

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WOW wait, so if microwave isn't radiating -- why are we being warned by all those nature organizations to make sure we dont stand next to it when it heats our food? I was certain it actually DOES let out radiation....

 

:eek:

 

weird...

 

~moo

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WOW wait' date=' so if microwave isn't radiating -- why are we being warned by all those nature organizations to make sure we dont stand next to it when it heats our food? I was certain it actually DOES let out radiation....

 

:eek:

 

weird...

 

~moo[/quote']

 

The oven is radiating. Light is radiation. Look up the electromagnetic spectrum.

 

I personaly would not want to be around a leaking microwave because athough its only side affect is heating It heats a thick layer of skin, so by the time you relize your skin is hot the damage has already been done when normaly by the time your skin is hot only the top layer is hot so you can pull your hand away.

 

Check This site out http://www.amasci.com/weird/microexp.html#myth

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Wait so if my hand heats near a leaking microwave, how did the ant NOT heat up and die? ants SURELY have some water and fluids in them, shouldn't those be heated?

 

And thanks for the site, I'm going to read it when I have a little more time :)

Thanks!

 

~moo

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Yes ants do have fluid in them. I can remember a LONG time ago frying ants with a magnifying glass and there fluid would boil and then they would POP.

 

I think the food was absorbing the bulk of the radiation. People who mess with microwave magnetrons will have a glass of water near them/it to absorb most of the radiation. I think those people are idiots and I would not recommend doing that.

 

Oh and by the way I think microwaves fall into the category of radio waves.

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Lance is correct, MWR is indeed in the radio spectrum.

Moo, there are different types of radiation, the sort made by microwaves and/or X-rays cease the second it has no power, in the case of an X-Ray it emits Gamma rays artificialy, some radioatcive materials will emit them Naturaly and cannot be "switched" off. so exposure to isotopes or ingesting them is dangerous as the dose maybe low but it will be constant. with devices like MW ovens or X-Ray machines, it`s always a limited dose, and MW`s are of such a low frequency (just below Infrared and in the radio band) whereas X-rays are well above ultra violet and the light band.

MW radiation is NOT likely to cause cancer or after results, it may cause MASSIVE internal cell damage though on a macro scale (heating), whereas X-Rays are more likely to knock out part of a DNA code sequence, a MW is unlikely unless you`re unlucky.

 

ants of course contain liquid, but they are also so much smaler than the energy waves being sent to them and so it`s like walking through slow traffic to them, sure if the truck hits you`re dead, but you can see them long before they do, and there`s several 10`s of meters between you and them, and they only travel as fast as your plate revolves :)

maybe a bad illustration if not read correctly, but quite apt :)

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ants of course contain liquid' date=' but they are also so much smaler than the energy waves being sent to them and so it`s like walking through slow traffic to them, sure if the truck hits you`re dead, but you can see them long before they do, and there`s several 10`s of meters between you and them, and they only travel as fast as your plate revolves :)

maybe a bad illustration if not read correctly, but quite apt :)[/quote']

 

But dont the microwaves move at the speed of light?

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Ahhh... now I get it.

 

 

Thanks YT hehe the illustration was just fine ;p

 

thanks all for your replies, I guess next time when I get an ant crawling out of the microwave I'll be less surprised :P

 

~moo

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sure :)

but they stay in a strait line also, as well as in a pattern dictated by the wave guide, it would be like being in a room with lasers all around that can cut you, BUT you can see them, the floor is turning very slowly also.

now the laser light is indeed deadly and traveling at light speed, but the floor that`s revolving is so slow to you that you can easily get out of their way long before you get harmed :)

in fact I`m more surprised that the steam off the food didn`t kill the ant 1`st :)

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Do you think the ant thinks about dodging those rays? I'm not sure its even thinking about "trying" not to hit it...

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well I don`t know about "Think" but they certainly have a self preservation insinct and sensors that can detect danger in order to stay alive deffinately, as for "Thinking" though? I don`t know :)

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I don't see why an ant would have a system for detecting and responding to changes in microwave radiation.

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it doesn`t have one specificaly for that (MW).but insects are more than cappable of detecting HFEM, LF vibration, ES forces and IR.

their senses are quite unique and the tinyest thing can "set them off", from pre-earthquake tremors in cockroaches to radiation detection by common black beetles :)

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