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Can Drinking Coca-Cola Ward off Evil Spirits?

While shamanic practices vary greatly between cultures, one of the more unique traditions has to be found in San Juan Chamula, Mexico. The Tzotzil, a local indigenous people, frequently drink Coca-Cola or other carbonated beverages in the belief that the burps caused by the carbonation help expel evil spirits and illnesses. Some shamans in the area include drinking Coca-Cola in their healing rituals.

It is unclear where this belief originated, but one theory centers on the relief that soda can give for an upset stomach. Burping is a very visible and immediate side effect, so when the sick person burped and felt better, those attending him or her may have attributed the end of the sickness to the burp itself. Or, as Shrek the animated ogre would say, "Better out than in."

Interesting facts about belching:

  • The World Burping Federation, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, hosts global burping competitions. Categories include "loudest burp" and "burp of the longest duration."

  • According to Guinness World Records, the record holder for longest burp is Michele Forgione of Italy, whose record-setting duration of one minute, 13 seconds, has been standing since 2009.

  • Apparently, 2009 was a good year for burping. Paul Hunn of the United Kingdom burped at 109.9 decibels, setting another world record.

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More Info: The Independent

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