As any recent college graduate can attest, drinking straight hard alcohol burns. But why? “Because that shit’s strong!” might sound like a reasonable answer, but it’s not exactly scientific. So the YouTube channel SciShow has come to our rescue with an intellectual explanation to the phenomenon.

Turns out that alcohol actually lowers the tolerance of certain heat receptors in your mouth, causing them to activate at 34 degrees Celsius (93 Fahrenheit) instead of 42 degrees Celsius (107 Fahrenheit), and thus dropping their activation threshold below your own body temperature. So those receptors actual think you’re burning. As a result, as SciShow puts it, “It’s not the booze that’s hot. It’s you.”

To think of it another way, remember how alcohol can turn you into a whiny, annoying person who doesn’t know when to shut up? It does the same thing to your receptors. 

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