Accidental Freezing of the Tongue to Metal Poles

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In an attempt to verify the age-old claim that your tongue will freeze to a metal pole and become stuck if you decide to lick it in the midst of winter, we have modeled tongue contact with a cold metal surface using finite-element analysis techniques. After varying ambient temperatures, we have concluded that accidental tongue-freezing is not a myth, and below -5 deg. C the tongue will freeze before it can be removed. An accompanying sensitivity analysis showed that variations in contact area, metal properties, and the convection coefficients do not significantly change this conclusion. Our simulation has opened the possibility for further study of the accidental freezing process, including the modeling of methods to remove the tongue once it is stuck.

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2000-01-10T19:06:12Z
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