Is this actually a human temperature?
November 24, 2021 7:26 PM   Subscribe

A person I know said they have a kidney infection and their temp spiked to 400 degrees before becoming more normal at 103. Is this even possible?
posted by firstdaffodils to Science & Nature (10 answers total)
Best answer: Their blood would have started boiling around 212⁰F / 100⁰C, so no.
posted by deludingmyself at 7:32 PM on November 24 [47 favorites]

Is it possible they're bouncing between C and F and meant 40 degrees? That would be a very high fever in Celsius.
posted by stray at 7:37 PM on November 24 [10 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you. Person just noted they meant Celsius, which makes a little more sense.
posted by firstdaffodils at 7:38 PM on November 24 [1 favorite]

The highest human body temperature ever recorded in somebody who survived was 115F. (Willie Jones, 1980)
posted by Pandora Kouti at 7:39 PM on November 24 [4 favorites]

400⁰C is around 750⁰F, and is approximately the melting point of lead, tin, and zinc.

It was probably 40.0⁰C with a display where your acquaintance couldn't see the decimal point.
posted by Hatashran at 7:57 PM on November 24 [28 favorites]

Also if there temperature is anything above 103 (or even 103, for that matter) their thought processes may not be 100% clear.
posted by flug at 10:16 PM on November 24 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you for answering this mildly dense question, including helpful statistics, and a small range of suggestions. 10/10.
posted by firstdaffodils at 11:07 PM on November 24 [1 favorite]

There could have been a connection issue with the sensor that caused some erratic readings.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:34 AM on November 25 [1 favorite]

40C = 104F and that's a serious fever.
posted by theora55 at 10:37 AM on November 25 [1 favorite]

An amusing twist on this--it would take a lot of time and energy to raise the body's temperature to a high value, and then a lot of time to cool it back down.
posted by polecat at 2:05 PM on November 25

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