Can you drink Heavy Water?

By Brian Lemay 100 comments

Obviously is quite a problem how do you make D2O, because normally
the deuterium in the water is diluted by a factor of seven thousand. Which for
chemist is really pretty dilute. The best way of making D2O is by a process
called electrolysis when you pass a current through the water to make
hydrogen. The process was first carried out on the large scale in Norway just
before the second world war. In Norway which is a very mountainous country they
have a lot of cheap electricity from hydropower. Rivers going over waterfalls. So they
have electricity and it makes economic sense to generate hydrogen to make …
for making ammonia and fertilizers by electrolyzing water. And if you
electrolyze water you find that the H2O react a little bit faster than the D2O.
So if you go on electrolyzing more and more of water and keeping what’s left
and then doing several stages of electrolysis you can gradually
concentrate more and more of the D2O To eventually it’s nearly pure. This process was
carried out in a fairly remote power station in central Norway. In a region called Telemark. Now, one of the main uses of D2O in the early stages of nuclear
science was for making nuclear reactors. Nuclear piles, and during the Second
World War the British and the Americans were terrified that Germany who occupied
Norway in … that time might get hold of the D2O and start nuclear
research. And in one of the best raids of the whole Second World War six
Norwegians attacked the power station, destroyed the
heavy-water apparatus and retreated. And the reason it was so successful is that
nobody was injured and nobody was killed. So they got into the place blew it up
and escaped without anybody being injured and in fact the German General
that investigated thought it was one of them as magnificent military feats he’d ever seen. There’s another story
that before the Germans invaded Norway, that the supply of heavy water – two cans – a few gallons, was smuggled out to the UK. And it was so valuable it is said that
it was put under King George VI bed overnight so it should be safe before it
was then transported to America. Is that true? Well this is the the legend and the
story is that when it was flown to America in an unheated plane the water froze, so when the people took
it off it sounded as if the cans were empty and
they got really worried but then it warmed up and melted. D2O has a number of applications but
it’s real use is in a technique called nuclear magnetic resonance. We have shown it on our video about tea,
how you can use it to analyze molecules. And nuclear magnetic resonance is very
sensitive to hydrogen atoms. So if you want to study some sort of molecules
dissolved in water if you use ordinary water, the hydrogen
atoms in the water have such a strong signal, that you can’t study the
dissolved molecules at all. So instead you use D2O which do not
respond to the same frequencies as the hydrogen and so you get a nice spectrum. [Brady] I think people watching will have two
questions. What does heavy water tastes like? And
what will happen to me if I think it? Well, I’ve never tasted D2O. I suspect that it will taste really
quite similar to H2O. Though it’s difficult to predict because sometimes
things taste quite different, but water doesn’t really taste anyway, you usually tastes what’s dissolved in
the water salts or whatever. There is a strong body of opinion that D2O is
quite poisonous and the reason why it’s poisonous is because in your body you
have all sorts of molecules that have hydrogen bonded particularly to oxygen. And these bonds break as part of the various chemical processes in your body. Deuterium oxygen bonds are slightly
stronger than hydrogen oxygen bonds and therefore if you start changing your
body for the the chemicals in your body from hydrogen to deuterium these bonds
will break more slowly. And so various processes in your body are likely to
slow right down. If they slow down they may completely
stop. Well I was always told that you could
kill someone by making a cup of tea with D2O. Because what it does is there a difference between the way
that hydrogen reacts and deuterium reacts in the body so it can replace hydrogen
in the body and obviously its everywhere it’s in the water and it’s in all the enzymes
that are in your body. But I have since read that
apparently you need to replace about fifty percent of the water in your body. For
actually kill you with D2O, which is kind of impractical. So … would be murderers don’t try that one, it will not work. There is a rumor which I never been able to verify that the Argonne lab in the United States just outside Chicago at one time had deuterated a
dog, which had been brought up and fed on D2O. But I think this is probably just a
urban myth, and it never happened. There’s also a suggestion that if you
dilute your whiskey with D2O rather than H2O, that you might not get so dizzy
when you drink too much. But you might be dead so it’s not
something that one should try and anyway it’s far too expensive.


Kameron Cole

Sep 9, 2019, 7:17 am Reply

Can you create a reflectionless water???


Sep 9, 2019, 10:09 pm Reply

It tastes sweet

Prokrast Nation

Sep 9, 2019, 10:58 pm Reply


Damian Davis

Sep 9, 2019, 12:53 am Reply

Great vidjeo

OK Computer

Sep 9, 2019, 10:02 am Reply

Fact: Fuji water contains 96% D2O

Pelóncio lok

Sep 9, 2019, 2:55 pm Reply

Cody drank it np

Shadow WSK

Sep 9, 2019, 5:52 am Reply

This guy is no joke
He not only know chemistry he also knew histories


Sep 9, 2019, 11:29 am Reply

D2O and HDO have a meelting point of 39F. H2O 32F. why not separate via filtration rather than electrolysis?

chickn greez

Oct 10, 2019, 3:26 am Reply

Still on my search for the perfect hangover cure. Well not here.

Signal 11

Oct 10, 2019, 8:43 am Reply

Why is this guys hair like this?

Is it what eccentric scientists do? Or is purposeful to give more credence to the generic “scientist” gimmick most are vulnerable to believing due to archetypical subconscious thought patterns we have been indoctrinated with since the early days of the enlightenment age?

Simir Johnson

Oct 10, 2019, 9:14 pm Reply

Heavy water makes for a bad perm.

T-rod 70

Oct 10, 2019, 2:44 pm Reply

His hair indicates his unchallenged brain


Oct 10, 2019, 7:08 pm Reply

i like hearing him talk. subject doesnt matter

Russell Fitzgerald

Oct 10, 2019, 4:20 am Reply

4:15 for the caption

Aditya Gupta

Oct 10, 2019, 8:17 pm Reply

I just clicked the vedio Becoz of his hairs

Love Laugh

Oct 10, 2019, 9:01 pm Reply

Is the hair a fashion choice by scientists!? I mean when they become a scientist does a guy with a catalog come along telling you to pick a haircut from einstein to galileo?

Andrew Persson

Oct 10, 2019, 12:58 am Reply

I appreciate the science behind videos like this, but the thing is, as long as whatever substance you want to drink is liquid, it goes from a question of 'can you drink it' to a question of 'how many times can I drink this before dying.'

toest cronch

Oct 10, 2019, 8:11 am Reply

So if I electrify the bath water with my toaster bath bomb it'll be d20


Oct 10, 2019, 12:55 am Reply

he only forgot to switch off the Van de Graaff Generator…

Trot Prest

Oct 10, 2019, 9:59 pm Reply

How much does D2O cost? Let’s say a liter

B. Jan

Oct 10, 2019, 8:37 am Reply

I tried it and it's quite sweet.

Johnny Arredondo

Oct 10, 2019, 9:04 pm Reply

Published in 2010. Just seeing this in 2019…

Freddy Bañuelos

Oct 10, 2019, 2:36 am Reply

Luckily socialist party didn’t get a hold of these and the nords saved their land.

Jeff Creamer

Oct 10, 2019, 3:25 am Reply

I think this guy is a scientist….

shane Krieg

Oct 10, 2019, 1:51 pm Reply

I was thinking the water comming from the cars running on hydrogen was nuclear or bad it had a wired energy field/aura like your burning the life out of the water interesting I wonder what the other comments say

Lord Cromwell

Oct 10, 2019, 9:33 pm Reply

stfu nerds

Tom R

Oct 10, 2019, 10:42 am Reply

Nobody: 4:09


Oct 10, 2019, 2:55 pm Reply

This man look like my Halloween costume last year 😂

Shiva’s Chimera

Oct 10, 2019, 8:08 pm Reply

I drink leaded gasoline and fart combustion.
The river's of light that move through the stone deep inside the earth is a type of heavy water/energy.
I guess what you need to ask yourself, is how many elements does this energy move through, and can a spirit manipulate it's movement?
I love scientology.

joshua james

Oct 10, 2019, 12:37 pm Reply

4:13..this is why u came

phil swifft

Oct 10, 2019, 6:35 pm Reply

Heavy water huh


Oct 10, 2019, 7:49 pm Reply

Tritium water when

[email protected]

Oct 10, 2019, 12:35 am Reply

Battle field 5 anyone???

alex trebek

Oct 10, 2019, 10:38 pm Reply

so, how much is one liter of heavy water?


Oct 10, 2019, 3:49 am Reply

I mean no one is stopping you

mark harris

Oct 10, 2019, 12:20 pm Reply

I thought Heavy water had tritium H3O being the 3rd isotope of Hydrogen emitting beta radiation.

Emporer Talllady

Oct 10, 2019, 5:56 am Reply

What secrets about our own chemistry makes science wizards wear there hair this way?It must have some sort of magical science benifits for thier minds.

James Simmons

Oct 10, 2019, 12:12 am Reply

The proper question to ask is not can you drink it. Of course you can. But what will happen if you do? The people that make these videos are idiots.

Jonathan Roy-thibault

Oct 10, 2019, 5:43 am Reply

Long story short, yes you 'can' but don't do it

Xanning Du

Nov 11, 2019, 10:33 am Reply

Deutrium Oxide

Xanning Du

Nov 11, 2019, 10:34 am Reply

Deutrium are dangerous

Michael Afghani

Nov 11, 2019, 8:20 pm Reply

omg he looks like a mad scientist XD

Poggimonsi Pmmm

Nov 11, 2019, 3:47 pm Reply

YouTube recommended:
2019:Let's recommend this video 9 years after it was released!


Nov 11, 2019, 3:46 am Reply

2019 anyone?

Kshitish Sorte

Nov 11, 2019, 7:18 pm Reply

Someone asks me a picture of science
Me: shows him this man's pic.


Nov 11, 2019, 8:10 pm Reply

Cody from Cody's Lab tasted heavy water.

Wayne lawson

Nov 11, 2019, 11:51 am Reply

If you electrolyzed your hair…


Nov 11, 2019, 2:26 am Reply


Rachida Veenstra

Nov 11, 2019, 6:21 am Reply

Every single hair on his head has sience in it so that's why he don't go to thé barber

Nepu-Tech USA

Nov 11, 2019, 11:02 pm Reply

4:13 If you can drink Heavy Water

Salah Bakri

Nov 11, 2019, 10:30 pm Reply

how is it too expensive , if you can make at home by electrolyse water ?


Nov 11, 2019, 10:48 pm Reply

A very expensive way to commit suicide.


Nov 11, 2019, 2:35 am Reply

Einstein would be proud.


Nov 11, 2019, 12:17 pm Reply

He's like Rowan Atkinson

Wolfie Puppies

Nov 11, 2019, 3:02 pm Reply

I like this Nutty professor guy 🙂

Robert Donkers

Nov 11, 2019, 6:03 am Reply

Perfectly described and thorough.

tania joshi

Nov 11, 2019, 10:23 am Reply

He looks like Einstein

Lomate *

Nov 11, 2019, 10:16 pm Reply

So That’s where Brian may from queen gets his style ideas from 😳


Nov 11, 2019, 3:56 pm Reply

2:10 Wait, that scene is in Call of Duty 😂😂


Nov 11, 2019, 9:22 pm Reply

Give some to Big Clive. He'll try anything.

Keith nunya

Nov 11, 2019, 4:33 am Reply

He keeps the formula for nuclear fusion as well as zero point energy hidden in his Einstein 'fro …..
Please tell me that people don't think they can drink heavy water!!!! Wtf?????


Nov 11, 2019, 10:29 pm Reply

i like the blend of chemistry and history in this video, particularly having recently played Battlefield 5's war stories.

Sandeep Kumar

Dec 12, 2019, 1:39 pm Reply

You make all of us best conceptual on chemistry sir . you are great

Thom Thumbe

Dec 12, 2019, 7:56 pm Reply

During WWII, my father served on a submarine. He tells how they created drinking water by distilling sea water. Following the process of distilling (two times through the distillation process, I think that is what he said??), they would add a small amount original sea water before drinking in order to give the water "taste". My point is that I wonder if heavy water has any taste at all?

kevin street

Dec 12, 2019, 4:52 pm Reply

Yes but dont wash your hair in it

Jouseff Macol

Dec 12, 2019, 4:18 pm Reply

Dr. proton is that you?

Nando Fernandes

Dec 12, 2019, 9:26 pm Reply

É sério isso ?

Raahim Khan

Dec 12, 2019, 8:32 pm Reply

Gonna tell my kids this was Einstein


Dec 12, 2019, 10:22 pm Reply

Judging from the hair, this man drinks D2O every day

Billy Anderson

Dec 12, 2019, 11:59 pm Reply

What about light water?? Protium water how would that be made and how would it affect us? Would it make our hydrogen bonds stronger? Ive read you can live for two weeks on heavy water before systems break down.

michael bayer

Dec 12, 2019, 4:11 pm Reply

… take it easy – heavy is from heaven water – in Germany its ODOL – White water antiseptic as perodent.

Knee Gears

Dec 12, 2019, 4:28 am Reply

I think he electrolyzed his hair

Sanjaysingh Rajpurohit

Dec 12, 2019, 6:49 pm Reply

If science had a face

Phil Jermakian

Dec 12, 2019, 8:50 pm Reply

We have ice that freezes at around 35 degrees here in our snow. Is deuterium the only chemical that would do this? I know aluminum something raises the freezing point somewhat. I just wonder what reason they would have for poisoning us…

tyler futch

Dec 12, 2019, 4:27 am Reply

I keep expecting D 20, took me a minute to discover that my eyes are broken, not his English

j l

Dec 12, 2019, 4:53 am Reply

"I said take the dog to get neutered "

I’m sorry.

Dec 12, 2019, 6:07 am Reply

He has the hair of science

Chunying ZHANG

Dec 12, 2019, 8:45 am Reply

H2O can also be DHMO which stands for DiHydrogen MonOxide

Damo. Atbp

Dec 12, 2019, 9:30 am Reply

Jimmy Einstein


Dec 12, 2019, 7:18 pm Reply

I would expect that most of the D is tied up in HDO, not D2O.

Poo Kk

Dec 12, 2019, 3:39 am Reply


Peggy Franzen

Dec 12, 2019, 7:35 am Reply



Dec 12, 2019, 5:00 pm Reply

Which is the video about tea?

Maria Callous

Dec 12, 2019, 10:37 pm Reply

If you have drunk the water your hair looks like his…He's really 22 years old.

Mark Hall

Dec 12, 2019, 7:26 am Reply

If you can drink the heavy water, can you swim in the acid rain? Or sing in it?


Dec 12, 2019, 1:41 am Reply


Ward Out

Dec 12, 2019, 4:10 am Reply

Crazy hair, lab coat, British accent = genius most likely.


Dec 12, 2019, 5:25 am Reply

has the youtube algorythm brought us together again or am I just weird.

Gassy Snake

Jan 1, 2020, 1:19 am Reply

Jeez so many ignorant folk in this comment section.

Höher wertiger

Jan 1, 2020, 8:32 am Reply

first tell me what this thing is.

Kieron Bower

Jan 1, 2020, 6:35 pm Reply

You can drink whatever you want to.
The question is – wll you survive


Jan 1, 2020, 12:29 am Reply

who´s here because of battlefield 5?

Kevin Brown

Jan 1, 2020, 12:01 am Reply

Yes! I'm drinking some right now….uhhh ohhhhhh


Jan 1, 2020, 4:02 am Reply

Is he the mad science doctor from Robot Chicken ???


Jan 1, 2020, 6:16 pm Reply

After hearing this explanation of D-12 and it's influence on molecular/cellular structure, slowing down and stopping function, has it ever been introduced to cancerous growths? Obvious problem would be containing the D-12 to the growth.

John G

Jan 1, 2020, 11:46 pm Reply

Tha fuuuuuuuuuuk would you want to drink that for.

David Dahlgren

Jan 1, 2020, 12:57 am Reply

I was going to comment about his hair but it seems everything has been said already


Jan 1, 2020, 6:46 pm Reply

I resisted the urge to post this nine years ago but I can no longer restrain myself. The answer of course is YES! You can also drink liquid ammonia or sulfuric acid. The question should be "Should you drink Heavy Water?"

No Thankyou

Jan 1, 2020, 10:00 pm Reply

You can drink gasoline if you want to……

Tony Scott

Jan 1, 2020, 6:21 am Reply


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