Should Fry from Futurama have died from drinking 100 cups of coffee?

You can check the answer of the people under the question at Quora “fry 100 cups of coffee“

Should Fry from Futurama have died from drinking 100 cups of coffee?

You can check the answer of the people under the question at Quora “fry 100 cups of coffee“

I love this question, mostly because I find this episode hilarious. I agree with Robert Wrigley ‘s answer, the LD50 of caffeine is:

~127mg/kg ( LD50s & Material Saftey Data Sheets ).

Which means if Fry is 176lbs (80kg) then the amount of caffeine needed to reach then LD50 would be:

LD50: 10,160mg of caffeineAssuming 95mg caffeine per cup of coffee ( Show Foods ) it would take:

10,160/95= 107 cups of coffee to reach the LD50Even if Fry drank all 100 cups of coffee at once he would still be below the LD50 threshold. So how much caffeine was in Fry’s system after drinking 100 cups of coffee? To find out I wrote a little python script to calculate the amount of caffeine in Fry’s system throughout the episode assuming the standard exponential decay. To figure this out I just needed the amount of time it took Fry to drink the 100 cups of coffee. From my analysis of the episode (see question comments) it seems clear that the episode takes place over roughly 36 hours. With that I can build my script:

#!/usr/bin/python

import numpy as np

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

from math import *

def caffeine_decay(t,t_start,half_life): return caffeine

“””Returns the amount of caffeine in the body from one cup of coffee assuming exponential decay”””

tau = half_life/log(2)

caffeine=np.exp(-(t-t_start)/tau)

caffeine[t

if __name__ == ‘__main__’:

numcups = 100

tfinal = 36*60*60

half_life7 = 7*60*60

half_life5 = 5*60*60

half_life3 = 3*60*60

#start_times holds the times when Fry drinks a cup of coffee assuming ~2.78 coffees/hour

start_times = np.arange(0,tfinal,1296)

time = np.arange(0,tfinal,0.5)

total_caffeine7 = np.zeros(time.shape[0])

total_caffeine5 = np.zeros(time.shape[0])

total_caffeine3 = np.zeros(time.shape[0])

#Find the amount of caffeine from each cup of coffee and add it to the total

for cup_number,start_time in enumerate(start_times):

total_caffeine7 = total_caffeine7 + caffeine_decay(time,start_time,half_life7)

total_caffeine5 = total_caffeine5 + caffeine_decay(time,start_time,half_life5)

total_caffeine3 = total_caffeine3 + caffeine_decay(time,start_time,half_life3)

print “Added “+str(cup_number)+” cups of coffee”

plt.plot(time/(60*60),total_caffeine7,time/(60*60),total_caffeine5,time/(60*60),total_caffeine3)

plt.xlabel(‘time (hrs)’)

plt.ylabel(‘caffeine (in cups of coffee)’)

plt.legend([‘half-life=7hrs’,’half-life=5hrs’,’half-life=3hrs’],loc=’upper left’)

plt.show()

This produces the following graph:

As you can see the amount of caffeine in Fry’s system will vary depending on how fast Fry processes caffeine. Caffeine has half life in the human body from 3-7 hours depending on the person ( DrugBank: Caffeine) .

From the graph we can see that if Fry’s body processes caffeine quickly he will have at most ~12 cups of coffee worth of caffeine (~1140mg) by the end of the episode.

On the other hand if Fry’s body processes the caffeine slowly then the amount of caffeine in his body will reach up to 28 cups of coffee’s worth (2660mg).

Both number’s are well short of the LD50 of 10,160mg.

According this: This Much Water, Caffeine, And Alcohol Can Kill You [INFOGRAPHIC]

He’d have needed to drink 118 cups of coffee all at onceto hit the LD50 for caffeine.Of course, there’s a bunch of caveats here:

How much caffeine was in the coffee? Different brewing methods, different beans, etc will vary the amount in any given cup.

How fast DID he drink it? The LD50 is based on getting that amount within a fairly short period of time (under an hour, typically). So if Fry took longer then that, then he’d be able to drink even more then the 118 value listed.

The 50 in LD50 stands for 50%; in other words, it’s the percentage of the test subjects (mice, typically) that have died after having that much of the chemical. In real terms, it means that while some people will die after having that much, some will die with far less, and some will require far more.

For (hopefully obvious) ethical reasons, LD50’s aren’t calculated based on human testing. It’s based on animal testing, typically (which has other ethical issues), and then adjusted for human biology. Which is a somewhat inexact process.