does gum really stay in your stomach for 7 years?
there is a common myth that if you swallow gum that it will stay in you for 7 years before your body can break it down. but is it true?
no. its not.
okay, so if its not then where did this myth come from? let me tell you.
in 1871, a gum-addicted couple, edgar and helga neelancamp, made a lover’s bet to stop chewing gum. i should also state that chewing gum was all the rage in the 1870s as it had just been invented by sir alexander gummington in 1869.
so pretty much everybody was chomping on it as much as they could. realizing they had spent nearly their life savings on the new fad, the neelancamps decided to stop chewing it all together.
to make it more interesting, they upped the ante by making a friendly bet. if one of them should happen to cave in and lose, the other would get something. edgar had always had his eye on helgas sister olga and decided that if helga were to lose, he was allowed to sleep with olga. if edgar were to lose, helga no longer had to be a housewife and mother, but could go and get a job as she had always wanted to do.
so on that day in 1871 the agreement was made. and 7 years later, edgar was killed in a duel with his neighbor over a land dispute. the bullet that killed edgar pierced his stomach and upon autopsy the doctors saw the gum and mentioned it to helga. why would they do that you ask? because like i said, gum was soooo popular and expensive that not everyone could afford it so they had a lot of questions about it. also it should be noted that it is widely believed that one of the doctors actually removed that gum from edgar and chewed it himself.
anyway, helga told the men about the bet and they came to believe that gum would stay in your stomach forever. and this held true until that next year when helga passed away.
knowing about the bet, and the gum in edgars stomach, the doctors searched helgas as well and found no gum. so then it must be that gum only lasts 7 years in a human stomach as egdars stomach had gum in it after 7 years but helgas did not after 8. this is where the myth began.
but wait, how do we know its not true? because edgar was eating gum the whole time. thats why he went into debt and had to sell his land to his neighbor and they got in a price war and he was killed. duuuuuhhhhhhh