does it take the same amount of pressure to bite a finger off as it does to bite a carrot?

Fun facts are not always facts. One that makes the rounds in emails and discussion forums is: “It takes the same amount of pressure to bite through a carrot as it does to bite off a finger. This is entirely false.

A “newton” is the international unit of force. A human adult’s maximum biting force ranges from 520-1,178 newtons depending on factors such as age and gender.

It requires less than 200 newtons to bite through a raw carrot. This is well within the normal limits of the average person. Biting through a finger requires so much force that attempts often lead to partial-amputation; a bite that doesn’t completely sever the finger.

There are cases of fingers being bitten entirely off, but such an act requires extraordinary force, far greater than 200 newtons of carrot-cutting power.

Imagine a great cavernous mouth, edged by hundreds of razor-sharp teeth. Powerful muscles work to rip flesh, crush bone and close the maw with terrific speed.

Such terrifying jaws are familiar from monster movies, from Jaws to Godzilla. But back in the real world, which animal has the worst bite of them all? Find it out at BBC.

Tags: carrotfinger 
Tuesday, September 05 2017