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I don't see why any of those three details would bother anyone and why you'd then prefer a much less plausible mitochondria theory that's totally ridiculous, if you are referring to Heymer's theory.
Originally posted by stainlesssteelrat
Wick effect theory is pretty much grand, besides three details.
1. It was never observed occuring (and SHC was, altough of course, people lie all the time).
2. Victim had to be pretty much dead or heavily unconcious for it to occur. Your flesh being burned is pretty good wake-up call. Wick effect needs hours.
3. If the fire reaches temperature that allow to incinerate bones, why it often doesn't spread to lower torso, temperate over 1000C just extuingishes itself while there is still fat to burn (buttcheeks, legs)
I somehow lean to theory, that it's some extremely rare malfunction of mitochondrias.
He thinks that nitrogen burns.
Heymer suggests that a psychosomatic process in such emotionally distressed people can trigger a chain reaction by reacting nitrogen within the body and setting off a chain reaction of mitochondrial explosions. This hypothesis has been criticized on the basis that Heymer "...seems to be under the illusion that nitrogen exist as gases in the blood and are thus vulnerable to ignition, which is, in fact, not the case." The hypothesis also fails to take into account the fact that nitrogen is an inert, non-flammable gas.
That explanation is the opposite of occams razor which roughly means the simplest explanation is most often the most likely one.
Originally posted by FlyingSpaghettiMonster
reply to post by Essan
One detail I notice is that many victims are found in or near a fireplace/chimney flue. Could the chimney be a conduit for - rough guess - lightning perhaps? That might give a catalyst for the fire and why the people don't move from the spot, but doesn't explain the way the bodies are reduced to ash. there must be something else involved, a fierce updraft when the fire takes hold? I'm coming on a bit Arthur C Clarke here.
Originally posted by Arbitrageur
It's very rare and it's observed with pigs which are very close to humans in body composition, so the fact it hasn't been observed isn't precisely true. It has been observed, but on pigs rather than humans. Few logical people would argue it could happen to a pig but not a human, there's no justification for that claim.
The rarity of the event easily explains why it's not observed in humans. Another part of the explanation is, if another person was in the room and saw someone catch on fire, they'd put it out, not wait until they burst into flames, so your expectation that this phenomenon would be observed real seems inconsistent with the fact that nobody will wait to put out a fire they see burning on another person.
The corpses I've seen photos of tend to be burned where the fat content is the highest. The burning stops for one of two reasons:
1. there is insufficient fat, so extremities like hands and feet with low fat content often survive.
2. The wick loses contact with the fat supply. The fat won't burn by itself. Just like a candle, it needs a wick to burn. If the wick is no longer in contact with the fat for whatever reason, it won't continue to burn. Again this is quite simple and why this detail would bother you is beyond comprehension.
Furthermore, the guy promoting the mitochondrial theory seems to be a completely ignorant wacko:
Originally posted by Arbitrageur
it's observed with pigs which are very close to humans in body composition..