What would happen if you ate a handful of jumping beans?
January 15, 2019 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Would you notice movement inside of you if you swallowed a handful of Mexican jumping beans?

I know they're not really beans, but some sort of worm in a beanlike coating.

If you were to swallow a handful whole, would you notice them moving in your stomach?

How long could you expect them to survive once swallowed?

This is not something I am planning to do! Just curious.
posted by amicamentis to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Not jumping beans, but: I was at a summer camp as a kid where a couple of the camp counselors both drank respective plastic baggies containing water with goldfish in them (1 per bag). Both said they could feel the fish swimming inside of them. Both promptly threw their fish and the water and some bonus material back up. So, there's that.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:00 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]

When did they stop being beans? I saw some when I was a kid, and they were beans. They didn't jump, they lurched. When the worm crawled to a different part of the bean, it changed the center of gravity of the bean, and the bean lurched to a different position. I doubt that you'd feel that if you ate some, since your insides probably don't resemble a tabletop.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:07 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]

You'd likely have vicious diarrhea, but not because of the moth larvae.
posted by WCityMike at 2:12 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]

They're beans with a tiny critter in them. You might feel them move. I am officially squicked out, not that it stopped me from responding.
posted by theora55 at 2:39 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Well, to answer WCityMike, they aren't really beans, they're seed pods of a shrub. So at least you probably wouldn't have phytohemagglutinin-related GI issues, but it would still be gross.
posted by fiercecupcake at 3:10 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Oh, and they move because the larvae are trying to get somewhere cooler. Heat will kill them, but I'm not sure if human body temperature is quite enough.
posted by fiercecupcake at 3:12 PM on January 15

According to isopod cleanse, you can feel them... not sure jumping beans would have enough movement to notice.
posted by The otter lady at 4:27 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]

Wait? Isopod cleanse? Is that a real thing?
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:14 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]

Isopod… cleanse.

ANYWAY, I feel like stuff is going on in my guts pretty much all the time that involves an amount of movement equal to or greater than that which a jumping bean would cause, and I don't notice. Maybe if I get an unusually big gas bubble I'll feel a bit of gurgling, but there's all kinds of pulsing and squishing and opening and closing and secreting and excreting happening inside me more or less continuously, and my body does not normally see fit to inform me about any of it. So I doubt if a little bit of bean-twitching would be detectable on the inside.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:37 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

Omigod... that isopod page is all kinds of wrong. Vivid details, helpful photo...

Well, extrapolating from the fact that the isopods don't survive, I don't think the moths would either.
posted by zompist at 9:24 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]

The Popeye cartoon has explored this topic! Spree Lunch (1957) - jumping beans at 3:00.
posted by moonmilk at 6:22 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]

OMG, that isopod cleanse thing 100% reads like a well-written troll post. Homegrown organic isopods! I can't!

Anyway, not jumping beans, but my grandfather who has eaten live shrimp says that you can feel them kicking all the way down your throat but that you can't feel them once they hit your stomach. Whether this is because they die or because you can't feel that type of sensation inside your stomach is up for debate I guess.
posted by DSime at 11:39 AM on January 16

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