Claim: A veterinary pathologist testified that being immersed in a can of Mountain Dew would turn a mouse into a "jelly-like" substance.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, January 2012]
Origins: As folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand wrote back in 1988, rumors of mice found in soda bottles and cans have a long history in urban folklore. And as explained in one of our own articles, the supposed remarkable dissolving power of modern sodas is another familiar aspect of urban folklore. Both of those elements came into play in January 2012, when public attention was directed to a February 2011 article from the Madison/St. Clair Record which referenced a lawsuit filed against PepsiCo by a man named Ronald Ball, alleging that after he purchased a can of Mountain Dew soda from a vending machine at work, he found a dead mouse inside of it.
Readers of that article focused on a pair of sentences near the end of the story:
It cited the testimony of a scientist who testified that if the mouse had truly been in the soda since its bottling, its body would have dissolved into a "jelly-like substance."
Ronald Ball claims he bought a can of Mountain Dew from a vending machine located at his work place, Marathon Oil, in Wood River on
"After purchasing said can of Mountain Dew, Plaintiff opened the can and immediately became violently ill such that he began to vomit," the suit states.
Immediately, Ball poured the Mountain Dew into a Styrofoam cup. Along with the liquid, a dead mouse plopped out of the can, Ball claims.
Before Ball purchased the can, it was sealed and had not been punctured or tampered with, the suit states.
a. Between four days to at most seven days in the fluid, the mouse will have no calcium in its bones and bony structures.
b. Within four to seven days in the fluid, the mouse's abdominal structure will rupture. Its cranial cavity (head) is also likely to rupture within that time period.
c. By 30 days of exposure to the fluid, all of the mouse's structures will have disintegrated to the point the structures (excepting possibly a portion of the tail) will not be recognizable and, therefore, the animal itself will not be recognizable. Instead, after
According to Ren, Mountain Dew contains citric acid, a substance naturally found in citrus fruits that exists as a powder in its purified, industrialized form. Most citrus sodas mix in the stuff to give drinks their tangy bite, while most colas, such as Coca Cola and Pepsi, incorporate phosphoric acid for the same effect. Consequently, these drinks have a low pH value around 3 (very acidic). Coca Cola, with its dark coloring and non-fruity flavor, may be the soft drink most often compared to battery acid, but in 2004, a well-known study led by dentist J. Anthony von Fraunhofer found that citrus sodas like Mountain Dew and Sprite erode tooth enamel around six times faster than colas.
a. The animal claimed to have been found in the subject can of Mountain Dew was a young mouse at the time of its death, at most
b. The mouse was dead when it entered the Mountain Dew fluid and had been exposed to air after it died.
c. This mouse had not been born when the can of Mountain Dew was produced (filled and sealed) on
d. Because of the condition of the mouse, its internal organs, and cartilaginous and bony structures, namely that none of them had been disintegrated or been decalcified, this mouse was not in the Mountain Dew fluid for more than
Last updated: 17 March 2015
Brunvand, Jan Harold. "Dead-Mouse-in-Coke Legends Have Lots of Fizz But No Facts." The Deseret News. 8 April 1988. Flood, Amelia. "PepsiCo Files to Change Attorneys in Suit Over Mouse in Mountain Dew." The [Madison] Record. 24 February 2011. Holleran, Kelly. "Swig of Mountain Dew Included Dead Mouse, Suit Claims." The [Madison] Record. 4 May 2009. Wolchover, Natalie. "Can Mountain Dew Really Dissolve a Mouse Carcass?" Scientific America. 5 January 2012.