Death by Watermelon

How much watermelon is deadly?

There are many conceivable ways in which a watermelon could in fact prove fatal. One potentially toxic aspect of watermelon is right there in the name – water.

Water, when consumed in large enough quantities, can lead to hyponatremia – “insufficient salt in the blood”. At this point, osmotic pressure makes cells swell up, leading to bad things.

How much is too much? Studies aren’t entirely conclusive. The figure is somewhere around 90ml/kg of body mass. For an average adult human, around 6 litres of water may prove fatal.

For an average adult watermelon, the mass of flesh weighs around 6.3kg. At 92% water by mass, that’s 5.8 litres of water.

Eating a slightly above-average sized watermelon could prove fatal!

This is ignoring a couple of potentially important points:

  • the figure of 6 litres is for consumption in one go – eating a whole watermelon in one go would be quite a feat
  • we’re completely ignoring that watermelon isn’t just water. It will actually contain electrolytes. If you salt your watermelon, even better

Be careful.

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Death by Watermelon

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