How to Turn Aluminum Cans into Solid Gold

Something amazing happened on January 15, 2017.

That was the day when William Strimp, the owner of an automotive junkyard in Washobee, Kansas, accidentally turned 24 aluminum cans into more than $2,000 worth of 24 karat gold. Here’s the story, as told by Strimp to WCFT Topeka News 17 . . .

 William Strimp shows off his golden cans. (And no, we were not brave enough to taste what was inside!) Credit: zoom-zoom/iStock.

William Strimp shows off his golden cans. (And no, we were not brave enough to taste what was inside!) Credit: zoom-zoom/iStock.

“It gets pretty dry out there on the lot, so I typically drink about 10 bottles a day of Whoopi-Ade, my favorite electrolyte-rich sports drink. I was running low one day, so I headed to the convenience store to stock up for the week. When I got there, the store had run out of plastic bottles of Whoopi-Ade, so I bought a shrink-wrapped case of aluminum cans to hold me over for a few days.

“When I got back to the yard, I put that case where I always store my Whoopi-Ade – on a shelf in the shed where I keep old car batteries before I recycle them. And that’s when the good luck struck. I must have slammed the door a little harder than usual when I left the shed, because that case of sports drinks fell off the shelf onto a pile of car batteries. About six of the cans burst, drenching the batteries and cans in Whoopi-Ade.

“When I came out into the yard the next day, my nose burned with a pungent smell. When I looked at the shed, I could see a smoky vapor emerging from all around the closed door. Thinking the shed was about to burst into flame, I ran over, pulled the door open, and my eyes beheld a glorious sight. It was like opening Tut’s tomb! All those aluminum cans that were lying in and around the old batteries were gleaming like gold! I grabbed a few and took them to Kansas State University for analysis. Sure enough, they had turned into bright, shiny pure gold!”

Robert Malcolm Watanabe, an associate professor of chemistry at Kansas State, explains, “It was really a metallurgical perfect storm. As soon as electrolyte-rich Whoopi-Ade spilled across the batteries, a reverse-polarity flow of current began across the aluminum cans, causing them to shed electrons and create a pool of electron-rich liquid around the cans. As soon as those electrons reinserted themselves into their former Aluminum atoms, that element was instantly converted into Gold. Miraculous? Possibly. But for even a high school chemistry student, what happened is eminently explicable.”

William Strimp’s Recipe for Converting One 12-Ounce Aluminum Can into Gold

IMPORTANT: Please read today’s post completely before starting this experiment!

  1. Find an outdoor place away from buildings to perform the following steps.
  2. Go to the convenience store and buy one 12-ounce can of Whoopi-Ade. (If you would like more gold, buy more cans.)
  3. While you are at the convenience store, also buy one 9-volt battery – the kind with the snaps on one end.
  4. Place the 9-volt battery in a bottom of a 16 or 24-ounce large plastic slushy cup, which you can also buy at the convenience store. (You can enjoy the drink and use the empty cup afterwards.)
  5. Place the unopened can of Whoopi-Ade into the cup so that the can sits directly on top of the battery.
  6. Using a hammer and a nail, punch five or six holes in the top of the can, causing a quantity of Whoopi-Ade to run down the sides of the can and cover the battery.
  7. Run as quickly as you can from the area. When you return the following morning, the aluminum can will have molecularly changed into 24 karat gold.
  8. Rinse out the plastic cup thoroughly with a garden hose. Carefully remove the gold can and send it to a qualified gold refinery.
  9. Wait for your check to arrive.

April Fools!

The only problem is, your aluminum can will still be an aluminum can, not one made of gold.

You see, you cannot convert aluminum to gold. And we must admit, we made up William Strimp and made up the story about how he made aluminum cans turn into gold. (Heck, we even made up Whoopi-Ade.)

We doubt that we fooled you or anyone else with today’s April Fool’s post. But we wrote it for a reason, which is to remind everyone of just how rare gold really is. Its combination of rareness and great beauty are what make gold so valuable.

If you have any items that contain cold – or that you suspect might contain it – give our precious metals recyclers a call at 800-426-2344. We’re here to explain how you can get top dollar by recycling your gold. No fooling!

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