Empirical Determination of Who Sucks the Most

A while ago I asked how high above a lake Superman could drink through a straw.

My friend and I were wondering from how high an actual person can do it. The answer is, this high:

Warning: Possible side effects of the depicted activity may include headache, fatigue, and extreme sexiness.

Warning: Possible side effects of the depicted activity may include headache, fatigue, and extreme sexiness.

I’m hereby declaring Matt Kiesz, age 23, the new world record holder at the Superman Suck, with a height of 3.07m set on May 16, 2009 in Pasadena, CA. Challenges to this record will be both welcome and futile.

The straw was constructed from some tape and a bunch of shorter straws. We didn’t have any obvious problems with air gaps or collapsing straws, although there were a few bubbles in the tube.

6 Responses to “Empirical Determination of Who Sucks the Most”

  1. rhettallain Says:

    Wow.

    I guess on a day where the barometric pressure was high would make it easier, yes?

    Still awesome.

  2. meichenl Says:

    Hi Rhett,

    Good point. I’m not sure how much the barometric pressure would affect things. On a day when the barometric pressure is higher, the equilibrium pressure in your lungs is higher, too. I’m sure it has some effect, but I wouldn’t know how to estimate it. The pressure was about 29.8 inches mercury that day, or 0.996 atm. The elevation is about 240 m above sea level.

  3. Paul Murray Says:

    Given the height of the straw, what’s the mouth vaccum? Vaccuum is measured in Torr, yes?

  4. meichenl Says:

    Hi Paul,

    “Measuring vacuum” would be kind of like “measuring coldness”. You never really measure how cold something is, you just measure how hot it is, and notice that it’s colder than the surroundings.

    Torr is a unit of pressure that happens to be very small compared to an atmosphere, so it’s good for measuring pressures much less than atmospheric pressure.

    The pressure in the straw would have been about 2/3 atmosphere or around 500 Torr.

  5. Ian Says:

    I’m 99% sure Matt’s performance (as impressively sucky as it is) was topped by a 10 year old kid on ‘Mr. Wizard’s World’ back in the 80’s. If I recall, he sucked well over 20 feet, but took breaks in between pulls. So perhaps Matt could still hold the single-breath record.

  6. meichenl Says:

    Well, Matt took breaks as well. I wasn’t able to figure out how to do that, though. I got about 8 feet with a single breath.

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