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Thread: Spontaneous Human Combustion? Truth or Myth?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Spontaneous Human Combustion? Truth or Myth?

    Maister and I are having a discussion as to the idea of is spontaneous human combustion real, or if there was some sort of outside factor (such as a passed out alcoholic who dropped a lit cigarette on them selves after they passed out)?

    What are your thoughts?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    I thought the myth busters had busted this one

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    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Maister and I are having a discussion as to the idea of is spontaneous human combustion real, or if there was some sort of outside factor (such as a passed out alcoholic who dropped a lit cigarette on them selves after they passed out)?

    What are your thoughts?
    Outside factor - here is a pretty close example -

    Headline and Article from my fair city's newspaper, Cigarette sparks oxygen tank blast
    http://www.courierpress.com/news/200...en-tank-blast/
    HIGHLIGHTS:
    either was lighting up or smoking a cigarette while hooked up to oxygen tubes, sparking an explosion.

    "It had to have caused a good-sized fireball for the facial injuries she sustained...
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Two bean burritos with jalapenos at Emilianos and you are pretty close to spontaneous combustion.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hey!

    Where's the POLL!! What kind of forum is this anyway.....I WANT A POLL.....

    Of course it exists.....I see it happen all the time, just after I tell a devloper about a delay or that I'm recommending denial of their project......
    Skilled Adoxographer

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    (such as a passed out alcoholic who dropped a lit cigarette on them selves after they passed out)?

    What are your thoughts?
    um... Don't know about you, but I wouldn't consider that Spontaneous.... and I doubt that would ever happen unless said alcoholic was drinking pure alcohol, and in that case, s/he'd be dead anyways.

    Spontaneous Human Combustion as in pyrokinesis with a result in self burning... I find that highly unlikely. The only way I can imagine anything "spontaneously" combusting is with high powered microwaves...

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    Cyburbian
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    There is science behind spontaneous cumbustion. This is why you are supposed to store your oily rags in a sealed metal container. The oil reacts with the oxegen in the air and can raise the temperature to an ignition point. Decomposing straw or hay also generates enough to ignite. I was on a construction site once where a stockpile of straw caught fire. Based on the origin of the fire, it was believed to be spontaneous combustion.

    I think if there is anything to spontaneous HUMAN combustion, there is probably science behind it. A combination of chemicals in soaps, perfumes, etc. mixes with an imbalance of oxygen or something in someones blood and causes a reaction.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I was watching one of those real life ER shows on TLC/Discovery and there was an older lady who had emphysema and used an oxygen tank. She went outside to smoke while she had her oxygen tank/tube on, and the oxygen hit the lighter flame and whoosh. Her hair was singed and her face sooty, she didn't seem to be burned that much. The nurse was checking her out and said "darlin' don't you know you aren't supposed to smoke with your oxygen tank going?" I felt bad for laughing but it was hella funny.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton View post
    um... Don't know about you, but I wouldn't consider that Spontaneous.... and I doubt that would ever happen unless said alcoholic was drinking pure alcohol, and in that case, s/he'd be dead anyways.
    Does not need to be pure Alcohol, just anything over 100 proof (such as 151!) Just spill a bit on your shirt and you’re a human wick! But I do agree, it is not spontaneous... just stupid.

    *By the way, Maister seems to think that there is documented proof that it is real. Some guy lit up while he was giving a speech.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon View post
    There is science behind spontaneous cumbustion. This is why you are supposed to store your oily rags in a sealed metal container.

    This happened in a local hardware store last year and the damn thing burned to the ground.

    They did rebuild however

  11. #11
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    ....*By the way, Maister seems to think that there is documented proof that it is real. Some guy lit up while he was giving a speech.
    I get lit now and again but I've never combusted.

  12. #12
    This whole thread just burns me up!

  13. #13
    The National Institutes of Health maintains a great websearch index of published scientific journal articles. It can be accessed at

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi

    There were three articles that came up when I searched for spontaneous human combustion including this one:

    1: J Clin Forensic Med. 2000 Mar;7(1):29-31.
    Spontaneous human combustion: a sometimes incomprehensible phenomenon.

    * Gromb S,
    * Lavigne X,
    * Kerautret G,
    * Grosleron-Gros N,
    * Dabadie P.

    Central Teaching University Hospital, Pellegrin, Bordeaux, France.

    Several cases of human combustion, the cause of which was not evident, have been described over the last few centuries. There are three intriguing elements to such cases. Firstly, although the body is destroyed, the immediate surroundings are left almost intact. Secondly, there is often no visible source of heat that might have started the fire. Thirdly, sometimes bodies are not completely destroyed, certain parts being perfectly preserved, adjacent to others that are reduced to a state of ashes.
    Last edited by Gotta Speakup; 03 May 2007 at 11:11 AM.

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Tuxedo Junction

    Humans don't but penguins do....


    http://www.jumpstation.ca/recroom/co.../penguins.html

    And now for something completely different.....

    Bear On Ice
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  15. #15
    Now there is a good question: Is an exploding penguin technically spontaneous combustion?

    And do they explode because of whats on the television?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus
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    AIB The Bear Exploding Penguin
    Sorry for crossing threads, but not really -
    From YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rR19wnxsqu4&NR=1
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

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