You probably just flush your urine down the toilet, but some European alchemists used it in their experiments, and in the process made a scientific discovery that helped modernize the world.

In this video from the American Chemical Society’s Reactions series, “How Pee Brought You The Modern World,” host Darcy Gentleman explains how alchemist Hennig Brand, in his quest for the philosopher’s stone (a material which would supposedly turn base metals into gold), boiled urine and discovered phosphorous, a substance that proved quite useful, particularly in making matches for fire on demand. Just brace yourself for a pantload of pee puns.


[via Laughing Squid]

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