NPR logo

Hot! Hot! Hot! How Much Heat Can You Take?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/106880000/106894644" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Hot! Hot! Hot! How Much Heat Can You Take?

Hot! Hot! Hot! How Much Heat Can You Take?

Hot! Hot! Hot! How Much Heat Can You Take?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/106880000/106894644" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

However hot this summer gets, it won't beat what you're about to see.

Some 230 years ago, three London gentlemen walked into a room with a few eggs, a steak and a dog, and then cranked up the heat. Their goal? To find out how much heat a body could stand. The fabulous animator Lev Yilmaz, author of the comic series Tales of Mere Existence, takes the story from here:

Video: "Sweat" by Lev Yilmaz

If Lev's story has you curious, check out our radio version of this experiment. Biologist Bernd Heinrich, author of Summer World, takes us deeper into the science of how sweat kept these men from collapsing at a temperature higher than the boiling point of water. (P.S. The dog was fine, too.)

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.