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Meet "Superhands," The Thai Street Food Vendor With Skin Like Steel

Jan 24, 2016

Don’t try this at home, folks. While this particular gentlement does have a few things working in his favor, there is still something unique about his ability to tolerate boiling oil all day long. Anyone else doing this is just asking for trouble.

There’s a few things that lead one to be more resistant to thermal burns. Thicker skin helps. we’re betting this guy’s got skin like a walrus. Good circulation helps, too. The flow of blood, especially through the skin, can help dissipate the heat quite a bit. In other words, some people are just genetically less likely to suffer burns from hot items. There also seems to be a tolerance one can build up to such extremes.

Many chefs-in-training speak of “asbestos hands” or “chef hands,” and tell tales of seeing their mentors yanking hot baking dishes out of the oven without mitts, carefully setting them down without even flinching. I personally have a habit of cooking bacon with my bare hands. Whether this ability is something your body adapts to or simply a psychological hurdle for people who already have this resilience is up for debate.

What isn’t up for debate is that this guy’s hands are covered in a combination of already-cooled cooking oil, and cold liquid from the dredging process. These combine to form an insulating, protective layer on his skin, helping to cool the hot oil down before it reaches his skin. That of course, is only half the story, because even after a quick cool-down, that oil is still probably hot enough to burn an ordinary person’s skin.

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