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#1
Old 01-04-2008, 09:40 PM
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Help me debunk this Tunguska Blast claim

Y'know, I really hate asking all you Dopers to drop what you're doing and help me with this scam, but my wife's best friend is coming around to the house with her latest miracle cure. This time it's Tangusta Blast , a drink that apparently gives you energy and reduces stress at the same time. All at the low, low price of $54.95 for a 32-oz bottle or $210 for the economy 4-pack. And to prove that it reduces stress, it comes with a mood-ring-on-a-card that miraculously measures your stress level - not your body heat, mind you - but your stress level.

OK, here's the deal. In 1908 a huge explosion occurred in Russia in the Tungusta region. Cecil talks about it here. And here's the claim made by the Tungusta Blast makers:
Quote:
The Miracle of Tunguska
A cataclysmic event in 1908 felled more than 200 million trees over 850 square miles in Tunguska, Russia. Rather than making a desert of Tunguska, the burst of light made a kind of Garden of Eden, an oasis of fertility where herbs and plants grow at four times their normal rate and to as much as three times their normal size.
I've tried googling to see if there are any legitimate claims for the kind of spectacular plant growth mentioned above, but the results are so contaminated by those with a vested interest in selling the drink that I quickly get bogged down in the bullshit (can I say that in GQ?). Now, the lack of corroborating web sites could mean that the plants in the region grow pretty much like the plants in other parts of Siberia. Or..... It could mean that the vast medical industry conspiracy has shut down all sites that could support the claim. It's hard to tell.

So perhaps someone with better googling skills than I, or perhaps someone who has had considerably less wine than I could see if there is any real evidence of extraordinary plant growth around the blast area.

Dear God, you have no idea how many hours I've wasted debunking this woman's cure du jour.
#2
Old 01-04-2008, 09:52 PM
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Well, Snopes is coming up empty, but it sounds like 100% bullshit to me (as all of these types of claims seem to be). In everything I've read or seen about Tunguska, I have never heard of "rapid herb growth."

Wiki also mentions nothing about any odd growth patterns there.
#3
Old 01-04-2008, 09:59 PM
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This friend sounds like she's willing to believe any damn fool thing presented to her. That said, I found this BBC article. Photos don't show any unusual growth - more like a normal forest with some dead spots.
#4
Old 01-04-2008, 10:01 PM
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You know what they say about a fool and her money...
#5
Old 01-04-2008, 10:10 PM
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I hate to break this to the OP, but there is likely nothing that can be done here. This can't be debunked without subjecting the snake oil to proper clinical tests. Obviously there is no truth to the "everything grows at four times the normal rate" claim, but you can't prove that either unless you go there.

The claims being made by the Tangusta (sp?) Blast people are transparently, idiotically absurd. At face value, they're ludicrious beyond any reasonable person's level of credulity. There is no explanation anywhere on the site of what's actually IN the drink. The con job nature of the business is obvious just by noting how prominent "Become a Distributor" is highlighted on their Web page; if the stuff worked, they would not need to find distributors.

Anyone who'd fall for this won't understand reason. I know, because I have people like this in my family. My Uncle John fell for every pyramid scheme to come down the pike and I'll bet the price of a bottle of Tanguska Blast he'll fall for this one too.
#6
Old 01-04-2008, 10:21 PM
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interestingly,
http://th-if.uj.edu.pl/acta/vol36/pdf/v36p0935.pdf
this link (PDF), confirms the abnormal growth rate of the area's plants. (Scroll down to page 5) and points to a more comprehensive study by Vasilyev (haven't found that yet) but says nothing of any miraculous properties other than abnormal growth. The reasons cited for the abnormal growth are scientific (ash fertilization, decreased competition, etc.).
#7
Old 01-04-2008, 10:26 PM
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It sounds like tomacco to me. Ask Homer Simpson.
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#8
Old 01-04-2008, 10:36 PM
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Its in Siberia. Their growth season is about an hour and a half a year.
#9
Old 01-05-2008, 12:15 AM
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You could try informing your wife's friend about the scientific process and that it's her job to present the evidence, but even if she's as smart as the average American she wouldn't understand it unless Jesus came riding up on a stegosaurus and explained it to her.

I loved this quote from the "Testimonials" page:
Quote:
Just as science is unable to explain the Tunguska Event, science cannot fully anticipate the benefits of the Tunguska Effect in your body.
Well hell, they convinced me.
#10
Old 01-05-2008, 12:19 AM
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Just ask her if she really wants to be thirty-six feet tall.
#11
Old 01-05-2008, 12:25 AM
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9 foot tall wife? Cor
#12
Old 01-05-2008, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Una Persson
You could try informing your wife's friend about the scientific process and that it's her job to present the evidence, but even if she's as smart as the average American she wouldn't understand it unless Jesus came riding up on a stegosaurus and explained it to her.

I loved this quote from the "Testimonials" page:

Well hell, they convinced me.
Well here is the explanation of what happened to the trees.
#13
Old 01-05-2008, 08:28 AM
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I like this:
Quote:
2006: CyberWize introduces Tunguska Blast to the world with a unique and powerful platform of claims defensible only because of the power attributed to the Tunguska Effect
#14
Old 01-05-2008, 08:47 AM
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FWIW, a Spacedaily article said that estimates of the blasts's size were recently lowered to take into account that the trees there at the time were well past their prime and the forest was overdue for renewal.
#15
Old 01-05-2008, 09:04 AM
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I especially like the logical leap of "The event made something miraculous happen in Tunguska, and through some magic process we've BOTTLED that miracle and are now selling it to you!"

What a bunch of bullshit.
#16
Old 01-05-2008, 09:25 AM
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What I want to know; are giant mutant trees growing in Chernobyl?
#17
Old 01-05-2008, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enigm4tic
interestingly,
http://th-if.uj.edu.pl/acta/vol36/pdf/v36p0935.pdf
this link (PDF), confirms the abnormal growth rate of the area's plants.
These guys have mounted several expeditions to the area.
Pix from 91
Pix from 99
The region doesn't look particularly verdant. However, they did see changes in tree growth after the event:
Quote:
The most spectacular phenomenon observed in the Tunguska trees is their accelerated growth, usually starting from 1909 but sometimes from some years later (The red mark indicates the 1912 tree ring ). We concluded that the accelerated tree growth derives from the improved environmental conditions after the explosion: ash fertilization by charred trees, decreased competition for light, greater availability of minerals due to the increased distance between trees, etc..
#18
Old 01-05-2008, 09:46 AM
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One must conclude that this person in question has a broken bs filter, to even consider that this product isn't total garbage. I have no advice, other than to keep this into account when devising a ignorance-fighting strategy,
#19
Old 01-05-2008, 03:00 PM
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Does the can feel mysteriously empty? Perhaps it's "Dehydrated Tangusta Blast". Just add 32 oz. of water to the 32 oz. can! With a refreshing Water Flavor!
#20
Old 01-05-2008, 03:03 PM
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Tunguska: It's what plants crave.
#21
Old 01-05-2008, 08:42 PM
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There has got to be a Chuck Norris joke in here somewhere...
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#22
Old 01-05-2008, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJsGirl
There has got to be a Chuck Norris joke in here somewhere...
As in Rick's link? (post # 12)

Or did you know that and you're playing with us?
#23
Old 01-06-2008, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJsGirl
There has got to be a Chuck Norris joke in here somewhere...
Hear that loud Whooshing noise?
#24
Old 01-06-2008, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Borgia
Tunguska: It's what plants crave.
Obscure to the limit, and very funny.
#25
Old 01-06-2008, 08:53 AM
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Perhaps you need to fight ignorance with ignorance.

Tell her that the Tunguska effect caused the Chernobyl disaster later on. (The reports of a nuclear reactor exploding were just a cover up.)
If she drinks the expensive drink, she will either become sterile or her children will be mutated (or both).
#26
Old 01-06-2008, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T
As in Rick's link? (post # 12)

Or did you know that and you're playing with us?

Well, crap! I missed his post!

Due to the current "Chuck Norris joke" thread, I've been thinking about it lately, that's all..



Last edited by Moirai; 01-06-2008 at 07:54 PM.
#27
Old 01-07-2008, 11:32 AM
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Location: Hampshire, England
Posts: 13,417
Dear Sir,

I ordered a 32oz bottle of your Tunguska Blast product. Within minutes of taking the first dose, my home and family were destroyed by a cometary fireball. I note that this side effect is not mentioned on the label and herewith enclose the remaining unused product. I should be grateful if you could remit a full refund by return.

Yours, etc...
#28
Old 01-07-2008, 12:52 PM
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When Leonid Alexeyevich Kulik and company arrived in the region where the Tunguska blast took place, he found a twenty-year growth of sphagnum moss (that's from his reports). The blast had taken place 19 years earlier, so that fits pretty nicely. He didn't say anything about abnormal fecundity. Pictures of the site show relatively sparse Siberian tundra flora. There's no way I'd characterize it as "Edenic", unless my idea of Eden was pretty odd.
#29
Old 01-07-2008, 02:31 PM
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You're wife's best friend has been caught up in an Alien Plot! Everybody knows that the Tunguska Blast is linked to the Black Oil.

(Everybody who watched X-files, that is.)
#30
Old 01-07-2008, 03:23 PM
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No, it's the crash of a Blisk warship (Bonus points if you know where that's from).
#31
Old 01-07-2008, 04:35 PM
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I think someone found somebody else's Mary J Wanna patch and bottled the juces from same. Now THAT would make a decient elixir!
#32
Old 01-07-2008, 05:23 PM
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I was able to uncover a picture of the founder and CEO of Tunguska Blast. Everybody RUUUN!
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