Tag Archives: water intoxication



Water’s murderous potentiality was explored in the form of water intoxication in a previous post, but its killing ability reigns not only the lands, but the seas.

Never drink sea water. Everybody abides by this because they are either grossed out by the thought of drinking whale urine and rusty ship wreckage residue or because they had tasted it and had discovered that seawater was not exactly tasting like bubble tea.



Seventy one percent of the Earth is covered in seawater, yet we cannot sip on it. Let us explore the ironically abundant, yet non-drinkable seawater, and how it can kill you.

Sea water is made up of a deadly concoction of water and salt. We need salt and water to live, so in actuality it is not the concoction that is deadly, but it is the dosage that is deadly. Our bodies only need a quarter of a teaspoon of salt a day, 500 mg. But the average human unhealthily intakes about 3,500 mg of salt a day. The superstition requiring people to throw salt over their shoulder upon spilling it was actually put forth to utilize clumsy people to decrease the amount of salt at dinner tables.

Do not look that up.

spilled salt shaker

Fresh water contains 0.1% salt content while seawater contains over 1.0% salt. On top of that, sea water is not regular “pass the salt shaker salt”, it actually contains a lot of different types of salt which includes Epson salts, potassium salts, and iodine salts. Drinking seawater will force the intake of large quantities of salt which will throw your metabolism’s equilibrium off, to say the least.

When drinking seawater, water from every cell of your body rushes to help carry the salt out of your body. So basically, as we hydrate with seawater, we are really dehydrating all of our cells in our body. This will lead to possible seizures, unconsciousness, and brain damage. But even if all the water from our dehydrated cells succeed in bringing all the seawater salt close to excretion, the last stop before departure will not be able to bear the load. The last main stop before unwanted salt is released from the body is the kidneys, and unfortunately, our kidneys would overload and we would die a salty death.

Though humans cannot drink seawater, there are other marine mammals that are able to do so. The reason they are able to drink sea water is because they have larger and more sophisticated kidneys than we do. But let us not get down on ourselves because they do not have larger and more sophisticated technologies than we do.Smart+Ass+Dolphins.+they+cant+rape+you+on+land_5ae913_4873580


California and Florida have desalinized seawater for human consumption in order to experiment with a possible replacement to our current water supply. It is still rather expensive, but research is currently in motion to provide desalinated water to deserts in the Middle East.

There you go. Sea water can kill you by dehydrating your body and damaging your kidneys. So next time you go on a cruise to Florida, double check the supply in the Aquafina vending machines.





“Be water, my friend.” That was said by a wise man named Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee probably never experienced water intoxication. Water intoxication is experienced when someone drinks extreme amounts of water. These cases of water intoxication are rare, but there have been several instances where people have died from water intoxication.

The most famous death through water intoxication was a 28 year old woman’s quest to get a free Wii video game console. She tried to attain the Nintendo Wii through a contest at a radio station. The contest was called “Hold Your Wee for a Wii”, and should have included, “possibly OD”, and “die for a mediocre console”. As you probably have guessed, the radio station was holding a water drinking contest that prevented the contestants from urinating. The woman had downed 6 liters of water in three hours’ time. An impressive feat, but she did not get to enjoy the fruits of her accomplishments for long. She vomited and went home with an excruciating headache and died soon after via water intoxication.

There are a couple more known water overdose related tragedies. In 2005, a student died at a fraternity hazing that required him to constantly drink water in between pushups in a cold basement. There have also been instances where people danced and sweat all night on MDMA and died from trying to rehydrate in large amounts the following day. La-da-di-da-di, dancing with molly, hydrate carefully.


All these cases of death via water intoxication carry the same tone of extremity. The deaths usually occur through contests or extreme dehydration followed by extreme hydration. So what causes the actual death? Water has no calories and harmful chemicals right? Well, the reason people die from water actually has less to do with water and more to do with how are body reacts to the water.

The way to sound smart when talking about water intoxication is by referring to it as dilutional hyponatremia. Dilutional hyponatremia causes death by creating an imbalance of fluids in the human body, and a disturbance to the brain. Hyponatremia is actually a Latin word for an insufficient amount of salt in the blood. Our kidneys are responsible for controlling the amount of salt and water that leaves our blood. When someone drinks too much water, the kidneys cannot keep up and flush out the water in time, and the blood becomes water clogged. It is sort of like that one clogged toilet that you wish you had not seen. This causes the brain to swell and eventually lead to a coma or death.

If this is causing you to put away your water bottle, bring it back out and do not worry. As you have read, an extreme instance of dehydration and hydration is required for death via water over dosage. The safest bet when hydrating is taking small sips consistently throughout the day. This will prevent your body from experiencing water deprivation and desires of extreme water binging, and will allow you to live another day to tell your tale of proper hydration.