How much does sweat weigh? And why is urine such a good moisturiser? Ruben Verwaal discovered that 18th century scientists used primitive chemistry to study bodily fluids.
By Christien Boomsma
So there he was: Santorio Santorio. The early 17th century Italian doctor had constructed a giant ‘weighing chair’, in which he spent most of his day. The construction was intended to help him study his own metabolism. How much did he weigh at the beginning of the day? How much did his food weigh? How much did he poop or pee? And most importantly: was there a difference?