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The pool filled with Hollywood Acid is the go-to Death Trap for any Mad Scientist that doesn't have access to a Lava Pit - usually bubbling a sickly green color, it will melt the flesh of your bones and leave nothing but a bleached skeleton, if that. Can be used both for moats near precarious bridges and lowering heroes into. Acid pools are generally treated as green variants of the Lava Pit and used in a similar manner as obstacles or execution methods.

Highly impractical in Real Life due to the nature of acid, particularly if bubbling. Acid is often produced when highly caustic negative ions are dissolved in water, and they are quite capable of escaping, particularly if in high enough concentrations as to remove flesh from the bone. These remain caustic and are quite likely to damage anyone nearby (almost like a chemical version of Convection, Schmonvection).

Strong acid is also extremely poisonous to breathe, so the air would be fatal long before its first victim could fall into it, unless it was from a substantial height; and even then it would have a substantial stench even from a great distance, which would drive anyone away if they had a choice.

The counterpart on the opposite end of the pH scale is the pool of lye, which shows up typically in industrial vat form.

May overlap in video games with Grimy Water. See also Shark Pool.

Examples of Acid Pool include:

Comic Books


  • In And If That Don't Work, Matarael (the acid dripping, a-joke-in-canon Angel) actually got to the pilot's entry plug and turned it into an acid bath.



  • Nomads of Gor had a pool that was alive, and digested its victims.
  • One of the Drizzt novels includes an acid pool just sitting around in the Underdark. Because the Underdark is just nasty that way.

Live Action TV

  • The Wild Wild West actually had a pool of lye in an episode.
  • Subverted in an episode of Kung Fu, where young Kwai-Chang is ordered by Master Po to cross a plank over an acid-pit full of human skeletons, and blind Master Po demonstrates by walking across it himself. Kwai-Chang obeys and walks across the plank, but falls into the pit halfway across -- only to find that it's only full of warm water, and the skeletons were made of paper; the "test" was simply a lesson to teach him that "fear is like a magnet" that pulls a man in its direction.
  • Showed up in the "Look at the Princess" Trilogy in Farscape.
  • In The Vampire Diaries a vampire-specific one is created by simply scattering vervain into the water. Any vampire that entered it would have their powers drained, then their skin burn.

Real Life

  • John George Haigh, the "Acid Bath Killer", disposed of his victims' bodies by dumping them into acid. He also makes an appearance in Clock Tower 3.
  • Large scale livestock farms often have large bodies of liquid known as waste lagoons, which are used to store animal excrement. These lagoons are extremely toxic, and falling in one is pretty much instant death.

Tabletop RPG

  • Dungeons and Dragons adventures have had a lot of these over the years. For example, WG5 Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure had an Acid Pool so concentrated that anyone jumping in would be instantly killed.
    • Also, D&D third edition averts the "harmless fumes" - if you approach a large vat of acid, you can suffer constitution damage from inhaling the toxic mist.


  • Bionicle had a villain (a Makuta named Gorast) who had the title "Queen of the Acid Falls," so apparently there was an entire river of acid running through her domain.

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • The Joker lowers Sid the Squid into one in Batman the Animated Series.
    • In another episode Batgirl and Catwoman are captured by a mob boss and taken near acid vats. One of them asks if they'll suspend them above the acid so the vapors will kill them, but he replies he'll just shoot them and get rid of their bodies in the vats.
  • The episode "Cop Out" of The Powerpuff Girls involved a corrupt cop had the girls getting dunked into one after the good cops weren't quite able to rescue them. Fortunately, they turned out to be acid-proof.
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