A Northern Ireland man has been jailed for three months for causing £3,000 of damage to his flat after attempting to turn his own faeces into gold using an electric heater.
Paul Moran, 30, admitted arson and endangering the lives of others, the Belfast Telegraph reports. He will spend 12 months on licence upon his release.
The would-be Dumbledore apparently used an electric heater in his Enniskillen flat in his misguided attempt to turn his own crap and "other waste products" into a noble metal, in July last year, the BelTel reports.
However, rather than uncovering the secrets of transmutation, his experiment necessitated a visit from the fire brigade, and caused £3,000 of damage to his Housing Executive flat.
A copper at the scene apparently heard Moran referring to putting "fertiliser" on a heater. Which is sort of correct depending how you look at it.
Judge McFarland told Moran: “It was an interesting experiment to fulfil the alchemist’s dream, but wasn’t going to succeed.” (We're pretty sure this shouldn't be taken as an indication that the judiciary are in on alchemical secrets denied the rest of us.)
The mythical philosopher's stone was once believed to be able to turn base metals, such as lead, into gold, and give its possessor eternal life.
Modern interpretations of alchemy often focus on the quest to turn base metals into gold as an allegory for personal transformation into a purer, more perfect state. Which could also apply to Moran's misguided experiment. ®