Apple AirPods may have received another testament to their build quality – passing through the human digestive tract unscathed. But, we warn, please don’t try this at home. In a “magical” turn of events, a Taiwanese man realised he had swallowed one earbud of his AirPods while he was sleeping. Ben Hsu, a navy recruiter in the port city of Kaohsiung in Taiwan, told his tale in a report published earlier this week, and doctors were cited to say the plastic shell casing of the AirPods protected his innards from damage that could have been caused by the truly wireless earphones’ lithium-ion battery.
As narrated by Hsu in a report by the Daily Mail, he fell asleep while wearing the Apple AirPods (model unspecified), but when we woke up, he was unable to find one of the earbuds of the wireless earphones. In his quest to find the missing item, Hsu turned to his iPhone and the Find My iPhone app. The app, as Apple helpfully explains on its support page, lets users find their missing AirPods, seeing them on a map, and also letting them play a sound on them to locate the earphones in close proximity. This is what Hsu did, as per the report, and after a wild goose chase where the beeping noise followed him around the room, he realised to his surprise the noise was emanating from his stomach.
Hsu then told the publication he made his way to the Kaohsiung Municipal United Hospital, where doctors examined him and confirmed the man had indeed swallowed one of his AirPods. They recommended he pass the earbud through his stools naturally, giving him a laxative, and would resort to surgery to extract it if that failed. Hsu revealed he wasn’t feeling any discomfort.
What happened next is exceedingly obvious but no less scatological, with Hsu fishing around to recover the missing AirPods earbud after vacating his bowels at a railway station toilet the next day – perhaps not a testament to the efficacy of the laxative. He then proceeded to wash the soiled earbud and let it dry.
Amazed to find the intrepid AirPods earbud still worked, Hsu is quoted by the report to say, “the battery was still at 41 percent! It was incredible.” Hsu also claimed his experience with this shining example of an Apple product was “magical”.
While all turned out well in this case – Hsu recovered one of his costly Apple wireless earphones, and survived the admittedly awe-inspiring experience unscathed – we would like to reiterate our warning to readers that swallowing an electronic product is not something that should be tried at home on a lark, and can have serious consequences.
A doctor was quoted by the report to say, “Because of the plastic shell around the AirPod, the risk of it causing him harm in a similar way to swallowing a regular lithium-ion battery is much lower.” Things could have been very different however if direct exposure to a lithium-ion battery occurred, which may have caused a number of unhappy consequences, including rupturing the intestines, the medics were cited to say.