who thought that spontaneous human combustion is real?

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15032614

 

No really, you can't make this up. Despite being thoroughly debunked over the years, this guy is convinced something unusual is happening!

Tags: appeal to authority, dumb

Views: 50

Replies to This Discussion

"The fire had been confined to the sitting room. The only damage was to the body, which was totally burnt, the ceiling above him and the floor underneath him."

I recall seeing an interesting special on public broadcasting about SHC.  What is described is typical of these cases.

A person falls unconscious or dies in an enclosed room, and the clothes catch fire (cigarette or, in this case, probably a spark from the fireplace).  The flames use up most of the oxygen in the room, so the flames die down, but don't go out completely - they just burn very slowly.  So there's little damage to the surrounding room, but because of the low flame, the body burns almost completely.

It's called the Wick Effect - which is ironic since there is a county in Ireland with that very name (spelled differently).

 

Perhaps this guy should be sent there as penance for this ludicrous abandonment of science.

I just discovered there's a wikipedia article for wick effect.

The body fat melts into clothing fabric, which can burn like a candle for hours. I'm not sure about the scientific principle but I think the cotton turns completely into carbon while retaining its structure like a kerosene lamp wick.

 

 

The wick doesn't burn because it conducts the potentially combustible material (fat) which is vaporised by the heat - the vapour burns, but the liquid does not and that stops the material from being consumed. Much the same thing happens in a wax candle. The balance is delicate, of course, but it happens often enough to see that this is what's going on.

 

This was done with a pig carcass some years ago and the burn takes many, many hours but the localised heating does not burn much around it. It's interesting stuff but not very magical - this coroner should consider his position.

 

 

Jayzus, sure anyone would know that if you had enough Jameson's in your system you'd be very likely to combust. There should be a warning on the bottle: do not smoke when shitfaced on this stuff.

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