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Is It Just Me Or Is It HOT In Here Spontaneous Combustion an Unsolved Mystery

Updated on January 30, 2008

Unexplainable Phenomenon Spontaneous Human Combustion

Spontaneous Human Combustion has always intrigued me. It is such a horrific thought that a body can just go up in flames with no explanation.

Imagine walking home from work.....It's a nice day, birds singing, sun shining. You stop in a local bakery to buy a fresh loaf of bread. Continuing forth towards home, you stop and wave to others. Then suddenly you notice smoke coming from your feet ! ! ! Yikes ! In no pain, but very frightened you panic. Start running ! Oh My ! Your body goes up in flames ! All that's left is a loaf of toast. WOW ! ! Scary !

Although spontaneous human combustion, or SHC, has been investigated and researched for many, many years. There seems to be no logical explanation. No theories or hypotheses support enough evidence for any explanation. One theory is, " The Wick Effect ". This explanation is that clothing soaks up melted human fat and acts like a candle wick. Another is The static Electricity theory. Which is that the body holds so much static electricity that it actually ignites itself. Both of these theories have no proven evidence to support them. The body holds a large amount of water and lacks any highly flammable compounds. It would seem to be nearly impossible for this to happen. Tell this to Jack Angel, a survivor of SHC.

In 1974, Jack went to sleep after a hard day of work and woke up four days later.He was covered with severe blistered burns. His right wrist and hand were severely burned, he had a very large "hole" In his chest ( burned from the inside out), and his back was covered with several burned spots. He felt no pain at all. His clothing had absolutely no damage. There was no evidence of a fire and no evidence of smoke. Disoriented and in shock, he got up, changed his clothing and walked to work. when he arrived there he collapsed on the floor. After waking in a nearby hospital, he was in extreme agonizing pain.The doctors were stumped. It appeared as if the fire started inside the tissue of his right hand. This hand became infected and had to eventually be amputated. No logical explanation. Impossible, right ? What could have possibly caused such severe burns, while his clothing and home remained untouched?

Mary Hardy Reeser was not as lucky as Jack Angel. In 1951 Mary's remains were found in her apartment. She was burned so badly, that all that remained was a pile of ashes, her left foot ( still wearing a slipper ), and the remains of her chair. Her skull was found among the ashes. If the thought of going up in flames doesn't freak you out enough this will. Her skull had shrunk. Not just a little, but to the size of a tea cup ! ! ! ! This is not a usual happening found among SHC victims. Not that SHC is "normal " and shrunken head syndrome in any circumstance is...uh...anything but "normal " ! Her apartment showed very little evidence of fire or smoke damage. The incredibly high temperature of heat it takes to cremate a body is so extreme it is impossible for there to be no signs of a fire, no damage at all. Impossible, yet it happened.

Spontaneous Human Combustion has baffled many a doctor, many an investigator, and many a scientist. Still to this day SHC goes unexplained. It is one of many unsolved mysteries of life. Is it just me, or is it hot in here ? ! !


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    • em_saenz profile image

      em_saenz 6 years ago from Europe

      QUOTE:He was covered with severe blistered burns. His right wrist and hand were severely burned...and his back was covered with several burned spots.

      Victims of electronic harrassment experience these kinds of burns.

    • ChristineRitter profile image

      ChristineRitter 9 years ago from Ohio

      Hi Christine, thanks for commenting. I wish I would've seen that doc. LOL, watch your

    • christine almaraz profile image

      christine almaraz 9 years ago from colorado springs

      Gives a whole new meaning to the question "Do you think she's hot for me?" I saw a documentry on this awhile back and it freaked me out. Those people in the film were like dragons. Fire came out of one girl's mouth and her whole family saw it. It was weird and scary. I better watch my salsa intake.

    • ChristineRitter profile image

      ChristineRitter 10 years ago from Ohio

      Hi, too !!!!! :>)

    • profile image

      Iðunn 10 years ago


    • ChristineRitter profile image

      ChristineRitter 10 years ago from Ohio

      Hi, BA, Hahahahahahaha...I like the way you think !

    • Blog Avenger profile image

      Blog Avenger 10 years ago from Southern California

      Well, while in concept SHC is good, intriguing, and if we think of people we know, even a good thing, unfortunately, the bright and energetic are probably the ones most susceptable.  The sad truth is, those we wish would combust, simply do not have the energy or vibrance to do so.  NOW.....if we could actually direct SHC, then we could convert those who are currently a drain on society, into usable fuel.  Plus, with the number of these dullards being so significant, we might actually have an unending new energy source.  Like all fascinating things, there is still refinement needed.  

      Thank you for bringing us informative and thoughtful commentary......

      How unsual

      Have an excellent day..


    • ChristineRitter profile image

      ChristineRitter 10 years ago from Ohio

      Hi, Zsuzsy, hahahahahaha....I have a warped sense of humor ! Glad you enjoyed it ! heehee.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      ! All that's left is a loaf of toast. WOW ! are you referring to the bread you bought on the way??? I know this is serious stuff but you still had me cracking up over that comment...

      great HUB regards Zsuzsy

    • ChristineRitter profile image

      ChristineRitter 10 years ago from Ohio

      Hi, studygal, thanks for commenting ! It's sooooo weird !

    • profile image

      Studygal 10 years ago

      How cool is that? I thought that was really a myth. I remember seeing something like this on a CSI. Man, I think you have to believe in miracles. Were these people following the golden rule?? Great job!

    • ChristineRitter profile image

      ChristineRitter 10 years ago from Ohio

      Hi, Smegs, Thanks for commenting ! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • Smegs profile image

      Smegs 10 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I've always been intrigued by SHC. I liked your article a lot....very creepy!

    • ChristineRitter profile image

      ChristineRitter 10 years ago from Ohio

      Hi, iounn, yes, I read that they tried to link alcoholism with SHC, but the evidence is very weak. Thanks for commenting. It's so freaky, isn't it?

    • profile image

      Iðunn 10 years ago

      spontaneous combustion has always fascinated me too. there are just so many cases and the circumstances are so odd, it's seemingly a specific phenomenon, yet nobody can pinpoint what causes it.

      there does seem to be a mild possible connection between alcholism and spontaneous combustion. I've watched several docos on it and it remains a mystery.

      good hub.


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