General Question

Elumas's avatar

Could spontaneous combustion be the result of a malfunction in respiration rate?

Asked by Elumas (3170points) May 30th, 2009

When we respire and process food into things our body can use, our body limits the speed at which the energy is able to combust, in the fabled situation of “spontaneous combustion” could the ignition be a result of the body malfunctioning and combusting energy too quickly?

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4 Answers

Steven0512's avatar

Yes…No…What was the question?

YARNLADY's avatar

Spontaneous (human) combustion can be caused by eating foods that are difficult to digest, when accompanied by too much alcohol, or when the person is experiencing a severe attack of loneliness (stress), which causes the cells to be extra sensitive to heat.

It is most likely that the above conditions are present at the exact time that a particularly high energy gamma particle enters the body and acts as an ignition source.

For more information of this, see the wikipedia article I have borrowed from.

Spontaneous Combustion in non-humans such as hay stacks and compost piles is well documented, and caused by heat and pressure.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Loneliness and spontaneous combustion go together because non-lonely people have someone to put them out after they’ve collapsed over an ignition source. But that’s just my $0.02.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Spontaneous combustion is a myth. Combustion is rapid oxidation, and the processes of digestion are not simple oxidation. If you’re interested, take a look at the Krebs Cycle. In contrast to this cycle and the rest of the metabolism, combustion (using ethane as an example) is C2H6 + 5O2—> 2CO2 + 6H2O. The mammalian metabolism does not work on the principles of combustion.

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