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john65pennington's avatar

Is there a modern-day case of spontaneous combustion?

Asked by john65pennington (29187points) October 8th, 2010

Do you believe in spontaneous combustion or the burning of a human body, instantly, with no apparent outside assistance? Most of the cases of spontaneous combustion, occured back in older days. People sitting in chairs, on sofas, or beds, that become totally engulfed in flames with no explainable reason? Question: Do you believe in spontaneous combustion? Is there a modern day case of unexplainable spontaneous combustion?

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9 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

Good question…not sure… if there is I couldn’t find one but did find this interesting

gasman's avatar

The Skeptic’s Dictionary has an entry on “spontanenous human combustion” that describes it as a perfectly normal—if unusual—phenomenon that involves a “wick effect” whereby body fat keeps part of the corpse burning while leaving other parts intact.

Also see the references at the end of the cited article. There is considerable skeptical literature on this topic.

There is no mystery. There is no supernatural phenomenon. All investigated cases are thought to be accidental deaths involving cigarettes, candles, or fireplace fires as potential ignition sources, which are conveniently ignored by paranormal investigators looking for a sensational story.

Nullo's avatar

Keith Olberman did it once, on-camera, when ranting about the truck guy.

RocketGuy's avatar

So if you are fat, please avoid flames.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Here is one currently under investigation in Vietnam. It sounds like a scam involving several family members, IMO.

Here is another case that took place in Michigan, possibly this year. The article also references a case that took place in 2001.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’ve never believed in ancient ones either.

Rarebear's avatar

the combustion is helped along a bit if you use gasoline and a match

flutherother's avatar

This is about as close as you will get to an explanation

RocketGuy's avatar

@flutherother – one little piggie should not have smoked in bed!

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