11.24.2019

Basilisk was a Real Creature: The Plasma Lizard

Theophilus Presbyter gave a long recipe in his book[which?] for creating a basilisk to convert copper into "Spanish gold" (De auro hyspanico). The compound was formed by combining powdered basilisk blood, powdered human blood, red copper, and a special kind of vinegar.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilisk

My theory is that basilisk blood is high in bilirubin (makes sense because some lizards are high in biliverdin).  Red copper is Cu2O.  Human blood is a rich source of Heme Iron (Red Iron Oxide).  The acid may be akin to lactic acid.

So the acid conjugates the bilirubin which complexes with the copper ions and forms a strong reducing (electron donating) agent.  These electrons cause ionic implosion fusion of the heme creating gold.  So Theophilis was wrong in the mechanism, he thought copper was converted to gold where in reality it was the iron that was converted.  However they may have placed this concoction on copper metal and that metal may have provided an electron pool to convert the heme to gold.

(actually yes this does seem to be the case: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/on-the-trail-of-the-warsaw-basilisk-5691840/)

So what can we do now that basilisks have been made extinct by the Crown who was afraid of alchemists?  Well we can just use bilirubin instead of the basilisk blood in the mixture.

Acid breaks hydrogen bonds and converts bilirubin into conjugated bilirubin
https://www.ifst.org/lovefoodlovescience/resources/protein-acid-denaturation

conjugated bilirubin is strong reducing agent with copper ions
https://www.pnas.org/content/84/22/8130
https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/84/22/8130.full.pdf

Why did weasel urine kill basilisks?  Because the ammonia conjugated the bilirubin in the basilisks blood thus destroying the bloods activity.

Also the basilisk and it's very high blood bilirubin and likely copper and heme could make electric plasma.  This plasma converted the sodium and potassium in peoples blood into magnesium and calcium, thus petrifying the creature.  Also this fusion is how it broke rocks, this fusion within the rock creating internal heat and breaking it.

How did a basilisk have bilirubin in it's blood if reptiles lack the biliverdin reductase required to make bilirubin?  Because Bilirubin can alternatively be created by heme destruction from snake venom.  So the venomous Basilisk may actually destroy some of the heme in it's own blood thus elevating bilirubin.  It is also possible that the Basilisk venom is in their blood and that this when added to human blood creates Bilirubin, instead of the Basilisk already having Bilirubin in their own blood.

Reptile hematology
https://www.cabi.org/isc/FullTextPDF/2006/20063121842.pdf

Snake venom causes hemolysis which elevates bilirubin
https://www.cabi.org/isc/FullTextPDF/2006/20063121842.pdf

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