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Thread: Substitute For Picric Acid Question.

  1. #1
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    Substitute For Picric Acid Question.

    If you had to achieve rapid knock down of a 60 to 80 ton mammal in moments and the previous method was direct injection of two full fluid ounces of picric acid to the aorta, BUT while effective, proved too problematic during post mortem processing,

    I was wondering if potassium chloride wouldn't be just as effective, if maybe at a slightly larger dosage.

    Any thoughts?
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    If you had to achieve rapid knock down of a 60 to 80 ton mammal in moments and the previous method was direct injection of two full fluid ounces of picric acid to the aorta, BUT while effective, proved too problematic during post mortem processing,

    I was wondering if potassium chloride wouldn't be just as effective, if maybe at a slightly larger dosage.

    Any thoughts?
    Don,

    What are you planning? Whaling is outlawed, but they used explosive harpoons, so filling with, C4, torpex, etc. instead.

    Somebody here might know: https://www.whalingmuseum.org/

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    How long a needle do you need to reach the aorta of a 60 to 80 ton
    mammal? How do you locate the aorta?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
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    were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"

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    Picnic acid (trinitrophenol) is going to have a very high redox potential. I expect that may account for its toxicity. Something like agent Orange or 2,4 DCPIP, might get you closer to what you want, at a dosage you can Launch.
    Plus, bonus! AFAIK, neither of those are pressure sensitive high explosives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squink View Post
    Picnic acid (trinitrophenol) is going to have a very high redox potential. I expect that may account for its toxicity. Something like agent Orange or 2,4 DCPIP, might get you closer to what you want, at a dosage you can Launch.
    Plus, bonus! AFAIK, neither of those are pressure sensitive high explosives.
    My picnic acid is cider vinegar and I have huge trouble with auto correct too!
    sicut vis videre esto
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    Seems unlikely that picric acid produced any kind of "knock down" - it kills you with haemolysis, renal failure and progressive central nervous system depression. None of these really match what I think of as "knock down".

    Grant Hutchison
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    Dr. Grant, it was the whaling site that Swampy linked to that made me formulate the question. I read it some weeks ago and wondered about alternatives

    Two fluid ounces of picric acid, delivered to the aorta, which on a whale that big is over a meter across, kills the whale before it can pull the whale boat into an ice flow by diving under the ice flow. I'd call that knock down.

    Unfortunately, it also killed whalers too, during the processing of the blubber.

    All I wanted to know was could potassium chloride have been effectively substituted for picric acid. So you didn't have to trust your crew with exploding harpoons. (And pay wergild to the Inuit for accidently horking one of their shaman with same.)
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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    All seems a bit implausible to me. Reliably hitting the aorta of a whale that is actively towing your boat?

    Grant Hutchison
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    Over a hundred years of whaling archives seem to think so Dr. Grant.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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    An amazing detail I don't recall from Melville, nor Steinbeck. I did visit Deception Island where in the early days only baleen was harvested and the carcasses of thousands of whales filled the circular bay. Then they took to melting out the blubber by throwing live penguins onto huge fires. A metre wide aorta! Wow.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Over a hundred years of whaling archives seem to think so Dr. Grant.
    I'd still like to know more about that. If you can reliably hit a whale's aorta, then that right there is a good way to kill a whale quickly. Something doesn't make sense, Don.

    Grant Hutchison
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    An amazing detail I don't recall from Melville, nor Steinbeck. I did visit Deception Island where in the early days only baleen was harvested and the carcasses of thousands of whales filled the circular bay. Then they took to melting out the blubber by throwing live penguins onto huge fires. A metre wide aorta! Wow.
    Ah, Deception Island's an amazing place. Did you swim in the volcanically warmed sea?

    Grant Hutchison
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    Oh, it was a different site than the one Swampy linked to, sorry.

    This is a good read Doc. http://www.whalecraft.net/

    Problems in capturing whales included difficulty in penetrating tough blubber, getting close enough to the whale to dart an iron effectively, and killing with a hand lance while alongside a fighting whale, especially in rough weather. These problems were compounded when whaling in ice fields; getting close to a whale through the ice to harpoon and lance it was a hazardous operation. Once the whale was harpooned it would often dive below the ice and pull the whaleboat into the ice and destroy it. Many whalelines had to be cut to prevent loss of a whaleboat; this resulted in lost whalecraft and a lost whale.

    To minimize these risks several approaches were taken. Early attempts employed poison to eliminate the need for lancing, and to kill the whale quickly before it would be lost. Explosive harpoons were also tried without much success. In 1731 swivel guns mounted in the bow of the whaleboat were introduced to fire a harpoon into the whale at a greater distance. (A discussion of these guns is presented on the Swivel Guns page of this web site). However, swivel guns imparted excess stresses to the whaleboat due to the recoil of these large guns.

    A solution to the excessive recoil imparted to the whaleboat was to discharge the harpoons and bomb lances from shoulder guns. The harpoons had to be much smaller than swivel-gun harpoons, however.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    An amazing detail I don't recall from Melville, nor Steinbeck. I did visit Deception Island where in the early days only baleen was harvested and the carcasses of thousands of whales filled the circular bay. Then they took to melting out the blubber by throwing live penguins onto huge fires. A metre wide aorta! Wow.
    Ah, Deception Island's an amazing place. Did you swim in the volcanically warmed sea?

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Oh, it was a different site than the one Swampy linked to, sorry.

    This is a good read Doc. http://www.whalecraft.net/
    Thanks, Don.
    So far I'm seeing prussic acid (= hydrogen cyanide), not picric acid, which makes more sense in terms of potentially quick action, and no-one making any effort to hit the aorta:
    The harpooner, as is customary, will throw the instrument with all his might, without regard to the spot - for his object is to inject the poison.

    Crew were poisoned on handling the blubber (I'd guess from handling the region the poisoned harpoon penetrated), and the poisoned harpoon was soon abandoned.

    So in those circumstances potassium chloride wouldn't be effective at all - you'd need a very large volume intravascularly to have any effect, so jabbing a small volume into the blubber wouldn't do anything except to make that harpoon strike unusually painful.

    Grant Hutchison

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Ah, Deception Island's an amazing place. Did you swim in the volcanically warmed sea?

    Grant Hutchison
    Alas, I Only paddled and splashed. But I remain an " Antarctic Ambassodor" through IAATO .
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  17. #17
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    BTW - I remember being told, in Alaska, about indigenous people's practice of coastal whale hunting from small boats, which involved using aconite on their spears. There's nothing new ...

    Grant Hutchison
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    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  18. #18
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    Sorry, fell ill for a few days and didn't get back until now.

    Wow, conflated picric for prussic acid. I was thinking prussic acid mind you, but for whatever reason wrote picric instead.

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