They burn like candles. Scientists have explained why there is a terrible “spontaneous combustion” of man

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They burn like candles. Scientists have explained why the terrible

The flame could be explained by divine intervention, but researchers believe that everything is a little simpler.

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Over the past 300 years, about 200 cases of spontaneous combustion have been registered, and the reasons for this phenomenon are still not clear. It seems that today scientists have decided to shed light on these terrible mysterious incidents, writes Science Alert.

The first case of spontaneous combustion known to science was described back in the 17th century by a Danish anatomy specialist. This happened in Italy in the 14th century – then a knight named Polonus Vorstius drank wine and self-ignited. As a result, the idea of ​​a person on fire was often associated with the use of alcohol.

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Charles Dickens also contributed to the formation of the myth of “spontaneous spontaneous combustion” in his novel “Bleak House”, written in 1853 year. Then he told the story of a character named Crook, who was an alcoholic and spontaneously caught fire, as a result of which he was burned alive.


They burn like candles. Scientists have explained why a terrible

Other explanations for mysterious eerie inflammations have been thought through the ages to be divine intervention, obesity, or intestinal gas. However, University of Adelaide pathologist Roger Bayard believes that this mysterious phenomenon has a fairly simple but eerie explanation.

As a rule, victims of spontaneous combustion are found with a completely burnt torso and head, but their limbs remain intact. At the site of spontaneous combustion, furniture can also be minimally damaged. Bayard notes that in reality these events are unlikely to be spontaneous – human ones do burn, but there is no scientific evidence that this happens spontaneously.

The pathologist assures that almost every known such case is actually associated with an external source, be it a cigarette, a lamp or a candle. A common scientific explanation for spontaneous human combustion is the so-called “wick” effect, which suggests that humans are capable of acting like candles.

Back in 1998, British scientists conducted an experiment in which they reproduced similar conditions with a dead pig. The animal was wrapped in blankets and then set on fire – as a result, the limbs remained intact.

This scientific theory suggests that human fat can act as a fuel source – that is, in fact, our body independently supports the flame after ignition, and clothes or blankets (as in the experiment) act like a candle wick.

According to Bayard, most likely people drink alcohol and spill it on themselves, and then light up from an external source. As a result, alcohol on clothes or blankets ignites, and then our fat simply supports the flame. Since there is less fat in the arms and legs, they cannot provide enough fuel to support the flame – which is why the limbs, as a rule, remain intact.

The pathologist concluded that many are accustomed to believing in the myth of “spontaneous combustion” , but in fact, everything is much simpler than divine intervention.