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Spontaneous Combustion

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1998 - Sydney, Australia

1982 - London, England



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Spontaneous Combustion

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Spontaneous Human Combustion is a phenomenon in which a human body purportedly catches fire as a result of heat generated internally by some type of chemical reaction.  This phenomena has been reported for hundreds of years.  Indeed, belief in the past was that if a person possessed too much anger or drank too much brandy, he or she might burn to death internally - literally combusting into ash within a matter of minutes!

In 1996, several of the world's top fire experts came together to investigate some of the most renowned spontaneous human combustion cases. The most amazing factor in these cases was the fact that though of the bodies of the victims were burned almost completely (give or take a few intact limbs), the items surrounding them were left untouched and undamaged. 

In a crematoria, where temperatures reach from 700 to 1,000 degrees, human bones are not destroyed - making cases of spontaneous combustion an even more mind-boggling phenomena. In the 1980's Dr. John de Haan reported that this phenomena is likely caused by the melting of body fat.  This is known as the "wick effect," which makes human body fat literally burn like a candle.  Because pigs have similar fat content to humans, Dr. Haan experimented by using a dead pig, wrapping it in a blanket with a small amount of petrol poured onto it, and placing it in a controlled indoor environment.  He then set fire to it  to simulate a human body being burned. Within 5 hours, the charred remains were identical to those in the spontaneous human combustion cases, with items placed in the same room untouched, other than a nearby television, which was warped from the heat - but not from the fire itself. 

Dr. Haan's experiment revealed that a small flame can indeed consume a body through the help of burning fat.  This study purportedly demonstrated how a person who has been knocked unconscious, unable to extinguish a flame, could be burned almost entirely through natural processes without attracting any attention to passersby or igniting anything else in the vicinity.  The remaining limbs that may be left were reported to be due to the fat content in them not being as rich as the rest of the body, thereby making them less likely to burn.

The problem with this experiment - though it was quite innovative - was the fact that it completely disregarded the cases in which people have actually witnessed these types of events. There are records of people who experienced them first-hand and lived to tell their stories!  These stories completely contradict the scientific explanation of the wick effect, in essence leaving this bizarre phenomenon an unsolved mystery!  We LOVE unsolved mysteries at Mystical Blaze!!!

Pursuant to this, the rest of this section will be devoted to documented cases of Spontaneous Human Combustion, possible explanations, eyewitness reports, and any other pertinent facts that might shed some insight into this weird phenomena.  If you or anyone you know has had any involvement in a case of Spontaneous Human Combustion, please feel free to contact us via the Message Board link below, or privately by E-Mail.  As always, this site is a work in progress, so do Bookmark now and return soon, as pages are added daily.

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