Professor’s breakthrough on human combustion theory

By Rachel Allen via Cambridge News

A Cambridge professor has tackled the issue of spontaneous combustion – using belly pork.

Prof Brian J Ford is a research biologist and author of more than 30 books, most about cell biology and microscopy but he has turned his attention to the mechanisms behind why people ‘explode’.

He said in an article in New Scientist: “One minute they may be relaxing in a chair, the next they erupt into a fireball.

“Jets of blue fire shoot from their bodies like flames from a blowtorch, and within half an hour they are reduced to a pile of ash.

“Typically, the legs remain unscathed sticking out grotesquely from the smoking cinders. Nearby objects – a pile of newspapers on the armrest, for example – are untouched.”

The first record of spontaneous combustion dates back to 1641 when Danish doctor and mathematician Thomas Bartholin described the death of Polonus Vorstius – who drank wine at home in Milan, Italy, one evening in 1470 before bursting into flames.

Since then more reports of spontaneous combustion have been filed and linked to alcoholism – though the link was later disproved.

The most recent case was 76-year-old Michael Faherty who died on December 22, 2010. West Galway coroner Ciaran McLoughlin recorded the cause of death as spontaneous human combustion.

Read More: Professor’s breakthrough on human combustion theory.

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  1. […] Professor’s breakthrough on human combustion theory (illuminutti.com) […]

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