I recently decided to read the Apocrypha. Sounded interesting. Anyway, when I got to The Book of Bel and The Dragon, there was this verse, which struck me as particularly interesting:
1:27 Then Daniel took pitch, and fat, and hair, and did seethe them together, and made lumps thereof: this he put in the dragon’s mouth, and so the dragon burst in sunder and Daniel said, Lo, these are the gods ye worship.
Now, what I’m wondering (and the only reason I’m bringing this up here), is what would this do? It seems to be an extremely early reference to use of explosives, which is fascinating in a purely historical sense, but what sort of material would actually be formed by boiling a mixture of pitch, fat, and hair? Would this have some explosive tendency, as can be interpreted from the passage? I’m a chemistry major, but I haven’t even gone through Organic yet, so if any of you know anything about the properties this would (or would not) have, I would greatly appreciate the knowledge.