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Spontaneous combustion redux: Indian mother claims her baby boy’s feet ‘caught fire’ two years after her other son was found burning

Ted Thornhill Mail Online

A couple that made headlines around the world when their baby son allegedly spontaneously burst into flames four times are back in the news after their second newborn baby son also caught fire.

In the first incident in 2013 the couple’s first baby, Rahul, ended up in the intensive care ward at a hospital in south-eastern India’s Viluppuram District, in the Tamil Nadu State, after neighbours had heard him screaming, and rushed into the house from outside to discover the child on fire in his cot.

His mother, who was working in the fields, took him to hospital and since then he has caught fire another three times, she claimed.

baby spontaneously combusted

© CEN
Indian mother Rajeshwari Karnan claimed that her 10-day-old baby son (pictured) spontaneously combusted

Does spontaneous human combustion really exist?

One of the first serious accounts of it appeared in the august journal Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society in 1745, which recorded how a 62-year-old Italian countess had gone to bed one night feeling ‘dull and heavy’. The next morning, all that was found in her bedroom was a pile of ash and her legs.

Many other cases followed, and by 1806, one scientist thought he had the answer. In An Essay On The Combustion Of Humans, Pierre Lair suggested that the problem was the demon drink, and he subtitled his article, Products Of The Abuse Of Spirituous Liquors.

The explanation that alcohol was to blame quickly caught on, especially among moralists who were against the hard stuff. In 1832, a popular Victorian magazine claimed all those who suddenly burst into flames were ‘habitually drunken’.

The notion was so widespread that when Charles Dickens included an episode of spontaneous human combustion in his 1852 novel Bleak House, the victim — the villainous Mr Krook — was said to be ‘continual in liquor’.

British research biologist Brian J. Ford argued in two articles, one of which appeared in the New Scientist, that spontaneous human combustion may be caused by a chemical called acetone that is produced naturally in the body, the chemical often used as a solvent in nail-varnish removers.

In healthy humans, acetone is normally disposed of through urine, but when people suffer from certain illnesses, acetone levels can build up in the body, and can even be smelled on the breath.

On the website Mumsnet, one poster wrote that her young daughter had ‘acetone breath’, and that ‘apparently children have higher than normal acetone levels’.

Professor Ford has noted that many of the people who have combusted spontaneously were unwell at the time, and as a result, may have developed a condition called ketosis, in which acetone in the body increases.

Ketosis can have a range of causes, including alcoholism, diabetes, a high-fat diet, and even, in babies, teething.

Furthermore, acetone infuses itself well into human fat. And it is also extremely flammable.

Unable to find a human volunteer to test his theory that a build-up of acetone causes spontaneous human combustion, Professor Ford made a model from pieces of pork – the animal flesh that most closely approximates ours.

The ‘pork puppet’ was marinated in acetone, dressed in clothes, and placed in a chair. Professor Ford then held up a gas lighter, and the result was dramatic. The ‘body’ burst into a fireball, and in under an hour, it had been completely consumed by flames.

In fact, the acetone was so volatile, that even just a static spark from synthetic fabrics could have caused the conflagration.

All that was left – as is so often the case with spontaneous human combustion – were the legs, which Professor Ford suggests remain unburned because there is not enough fat in that part of the body to store the flammable acetone.

baby spontaneously combusted feet photo

© CEN
Medics at the Government Kilpauk Hospital said that the boy had about 10 per cent burn damage to his feet

For a year-and-a-half, however, there have been no more incidents, until now, after the same problem returned to affect his newborn brother.

The child, not named, was rushed into the Government Kilpauk Hospital by his mother, Rajeshwari Karnan, who claimed that her son’s feet had spontaneously combusted while she was in the bath and that she had managed to beat out the flames before rushing him to hospital.

Medics said that the boy had about 10 per cent burn damage to his feet in an incident that happened when he was 10-days-old. Rajeswari said she had heard him screaming and found his feet on fire in a repeat incident that mirrored the ‘spontaneous combustion’ of his older brother.

After over a month in neonatal intensive care unit, the burns have healed and the baby is now fit for discharge, according to hospital dean Narayana Babu. However, social workers are now looking at the issue of whether it is safe to release the child back to his parents.

He said: ‘All tests reveal he is completely normal, and the parents too, went through psychiatric counselling and were found to be normal.’

However medics are still reluctant to hand the child over for fears that one of the parents, they suspect the mother, is suffering from the Munchausen by proxy syndrome in which a parent seeks to harm their child in order to get attention.

Child psychiatrist Shiva Prakash Srinivasan told local media: ‘This need for attention is fulfilled by bringing the child into a hospital with a medical condition, and getting attention, and in this case with worldwide headlines there was certainly a lot of attention.’

Spokesperson for Tulir – the Centre for the Prevention and Healing of Child Sexual Abuse – Vidya Reddy said: ‘From all that I have read, it definitely seems like the mother has this syndrome. It is vital that she be assessed appropriately and helped as soon as possible. Also, the child protection systems in the state must intervene in this case immediately.’

Rajeshwari, 25, said the suggestion that she had caused the fire that damaged her two sons was ludicrous.

She said that she and her husband Karnan Perumal, 28, had been the only ones around each time the incident happened but it was ridiculous to suggest either of them were to blame.

At the time speculation had circulated around the world that baby Rahul was a victim of spontaneous human combustion. The couple also have an older daughter, Narmatha, who has not yet been a victim of the condition.

Medics who suspect the mother is to blame for the incidents pointed out that the phenomenon has never been proven to exist, given the large amount of water the average human body contains.

Crematoriums use at least 30 cubic metres of gas, along with 600 cubic metres of pre-heated air, to incinerate a corpse.

However British research biologist Brian J. Ford argued in two articles, one of which appeared in the New Scientist, that spontaneous human combustion may be caused by a chemical called acetone that is produced naturally in the body, the chemical often used as a solvent in nail-varnish removers.

In healthy humans, acetone is normally disposed of through urine, but when people suffer from certain illnesses, acetone levels can build up in the body, and can even be smelled on the breath.

On the website Mumsnet, one poster wrote that her young daughter had ‘acetone breath’, and that ‘apparently children have higher than normal acetone levels’.

Professor Ford has noted that many of the people who have combusted spontaneously were unwell at the time, and as a result, may have developed a condition called ketosis, in which acetone in the body increases.

baby spontaneously combusted

© CEN
Rajeshwari Karnan (pictured) has dismissed claims that she is attention-seeking by harming her babies

Ketosis can have a range of causes, including alcoholism, diabetes, a high-fat diet, and even, in babies, teething

Furthermore, acetone infuses itself well into human fat. And it is also extremely flammable.

Unable to find a human volunteer to test his theory that a build-up of acetone causes spontaneous human combustion, Professor Ford made a model from pieces of pork – the animal flesh that most closely approximates ours.

The ‘pork puppet’ was marinated in acetone, dressed in clothes, and placed in a chair. Professor Ford then held up a gas lighter, and the result was dramatic. The ‘body’ burst into a fireball, and in under an hour, it had been completely consumed by flames.

In fact, the acetone was so volatile, that even just a static spark from synthetic fabrics could have caused the conflagration.

All that was left – as is so often the case with spontaneous human combustion – were the legs, which Professor Ford suggests remain unburned because there is not enough fat in that part of the body to store the flammable acetone.

In the case of baby Rahul, doctors found average levels of acetone. But many believed the parents and a large amount of money was raised to help them after they were forced out of their village with locals fearing that the baby might start a major fire.

They were even bought a new house with the money and sceptics say the family are clearly looking for another handout by producing a second burning baby.

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Bizzare & Odd

The first guests from a parallel world appeared on Earth?

In the vicinity of October 13, 2020, somewhere in the Alps, some people from Bosnia observed a very strange phenomenon, a report of which was posted on her Facebook profile by a certain Malisa Simic.  

The video is in Bosnian, so it is difficult to understand the story in detail, but the general description comes down to the observation by a person in the video of some blurry figures with wings and a height of 3.5 meters. Behind them were some kind of luminous objects and all this made an eerie, frightening sound. 

In the frame appears an adult, who probably has a family and a number of urgent matters related to his provision. That is, he has no time to run around the mountains and make fakes. 

The second interesting point is the simultaneous report of citizen Manuel Navarett, an employee of the USPS (United States Postal Service), who on September 24, 2020, met a hefty red-eyed creature with wings at the O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

Unfortunately for researchers, YouTube and social networks are now crammed with all sorts of creative degenerates who want to make stupid fakes or want to become famous, or cut down views, so we very rarely watch and analyze videos of this kind. Distinguishing a real report from a clownery is quite difficult and takes a lot of time. Nevertheless, with these figures, everything ‘seems’ to be interesting.

Manuel reported the following: 

On Thursday, September 24, around 11:00 pm, I finished my shift at the USPS sorting center at O’Hare Airport and walked to my car at the far end of the parking lot. Nearby, about 20-25 feet from the car, stood a very tall man in what I thought was a long coat. 

I opened the door and the car automatically turned on the headlights. The light hit this tall man directly, which obviously made him turn and look directly at me. And then I saw that it was not a man, but something tall and red-eyed with wings, which I initially took for a long coat. I was 5 feet 4 inches, but IT was at least a couple of feet taller than me. 

It began to stare at me, making a clicking and low chirping sound. Then it began to approach quickly, and the clatter in his throat turned into a squeal. When I was about ten feet away, the creature spread its wings and took off, flying directly above me. I squatted down in front of the open car door and screamed hysterically ….


Thus, we already have, as it were, two similar cases that happened at the same time, albeit on different sides of the Earth. People are watching something and this is – tall entities, with wings and make some frightening sounds.

Similar messages from time to time come from different parts of the world, it is even possible that one of the readers saw something similar himself, he does not need to be convinced that there are some creatures with wings around us. Most likely they have always been, since legends and tales are full of such episodes. But the fact that they began to be observed somehow very clearly and even, it seems, got on camera in the Alps is a little alarming.

We don’t know how to explain what’s happening, because we don’t even know what kind of winged creatures they are. But, according to the general opinion, such creatures exist as if in a parallel dimension and almost never cross the border between the worlds. 

However, if they continue to be observed just as often and clearly, then it seems that the boundaries between our worlds are somehow erased and soon something else will fall here.

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Bizzare & Odd

TOP Rare facts about the first landing on the moon

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, and the whole world gasped. Since then, we have not stopped gasping and groaning, learning new facts about that flight.

We know a lot about the legendary flight of Apollo 11, but a lot of interesting details have remained behind the scenes of the moon race. How much did the Apollo 11 flight cost, what does moon dust smell like and how dangerous it is, why were the astronauts taught to walk sideways and what nearly exploded after landing? “Popular Mechanics” will tell about these and many other little-known, but damn interesting facts associated with the first manned landing on the moon.

The moon smells like burning

The big question before the NASA team was: what will the surface of the moon be? Will the lander feet touch a hard surface or sink into something soft? The good news was that the surface was actually quite hard, but the real surprise was that the moon had its own scent.

astronaut on the moon
NASA Aldrin after collecting a sample of lunar soil. Pay attention, under his feet is a scoop-landing net with a long handle

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin returned to the lunar module, the lunar mud entered the cabin and began to smell strong. The astronauts reported that it was the smell of something burnt, like wet ash from a fireplace.

The cost of a flight to the moon flew into a pretty penny

In total, the States spent more than $ 25 billion on the Apollo program. Decent, but in 1960s prices. In terms of today’s money, this is more than $ 150 billion – that’s really decent.

Saturn-5
NASA Saturn 5 booster with Apollo 11 during launch. Millions of dollars burn so brightly

Only Apollo 11 itself cost the Americans 355 million dollars, and another 185 million had to be paid for the Saturn 5 launch vehicle. Further on the little things: the command module “Columbia”, in which Michael Collins remained while Armstrong and Aldrin roamed the moon ($ 55 million), the lunar module “Eagle” ($ 40 million).

The USSR carefully concealed attempts to get to the Moon first

Not only the States were going to demonstrate their dominance by landing people on the moon, the Soviet Union was also preparing for this feat. From 1967 to 1969, the USSR launched a lot of spacecraft – “Cosmos”, “Probes”, “Soyuz” and “Luna”. The most successful of these turned out to be Zond-5, which became the first spacecraft in the world to return photographic film taken from the Moon to Earth.

True, as soon as the American astronauts set foot on its surface first, the Soviets lost interest and reduced their efforts in this direction to a minimum.

At first, our country needed secrecy so that, God forbid, no one would catch up with us. But then, when the States did catch up with us and overtook us, we had to maintain secrecy so that no one knew that we had been beaten.

Astronauts trained, literally walking sideways

How do you prepare to send someone to a place no one has ever been? To do this, NASA created a series of simulators in the 1960s that simulated what astronauts might encounter in reality.

NASA training
NASA: Astronauts Prepared for Lunar Gravity in Exotic Pose

Aldrin practiced collecting samples on artificial moonlit landscapes indoors. Armstrong trained in piloting on a training simulator in Houston. And to simulate walking in the atmosphere with the gravity of the moon, astronauts, dressed in spacesuits, were hung sideways on special cables and forced to walk for hours on the walls of the Langley Research Center.

For 20 years we could not find a photo of Armstrong on the moon

After that flight, it was officially believed that there was not a single photo of Neil Armstrong, taken on the moon while leaving the ship, since he had the camera all the time.

Neil Armstrong on the moon
NASA Here it is, the only snapshot of Neil Armstrong on the Moon that could not be found for 20 years. By the way, later NASA decided to make red stripes on the commander’s spacesuit so that the astronauts could be easily distinguished.

However, in 1987, NASA historians managed to make a discovery: there is still a picture, but it is the only one. Edwin Aldrin took a camera that Armstrong had placed on the open panel of the lunar module’s cargo hold before collecting rock samples and shot a panorama. Part of this panorama was the shot with Armstrong.

Buzz Aldrin received communion on the moon

When Eagle landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had to wait a bit before embarking on their first moonwalk. Aldrin, as an elder in the Presbyterian Church, made good use of his time and did things that no other person has ever done. He took part in the first religious sacrament ever performed on the moon – the rite of Christian communion. Armstrong declined to participate.

Aldrin had originally hoped for a live radio broadcast, but at the last moment NASA dropped the idea. All because of a lawsuit initiated by the militant atheist Madaline Murray O’Hare: she filed a lawsuit against the agency in connection with the fact that the crew of Apollo 8 on Christmas Eve 1968 in lunar orbit on the air read the first chapter of Genesis.

Scientists were terribly afraid of space microbes

Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins found themselves stuck in a biological defense quarantine upon arrival. Since humans had never been to the moon before, NASA scientists couldn’t be sure that some deadly space plague hadn’t come along with the astronauts.

Apollo 11 crew
NASA Upon arrival on Earth, the Apollo 11 crew communicated with the world only through the glass of the special van. Even with President Nixon.

As soon as their capsule splashed down in the Pacific on July 24, 1969, the trio were sent into a mobile quarantine van, which was taken to NASA’s Lunar Reception Laboratory in Houston, where the team remained until August 10, 1969.

Film cassettes and sample containers were less fortunate. The films were sterilized in an autoclave for several hours, after which they were sent to the darkroom. There, one of the photo technicians accidentally took the cassette with his bare hands (just the one that the astronauts dropped on the moon) and was taken out in the moon dust. He had to take a five minute disinfectant shower.

Lunar Reception Laboratory
NASA This is the building of the Lunar Reception Laboratory, where the crew spent 18 days of quarantine

The sample containers were double sterilized: first with ultraviolet light, then with peracetic acid. Then they were rinsed with sterile water and dried with nitrogen. The opening of the containers was delayed due to unstable pressure in the vacuum zone.

They suspected a small leak in one of the gloves that could be used to manipulate the samples. Less than a week later, the gloves were torn. Most of the lunar samples were exposed to the earth’s atmosphere, and two of the technicians had to be quarantined. Then four more technicians were quarantined. In total, more than two dozen people have been quarantined.

President Nixon prepared in advance for mission failure

As Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin jump across the moon’s surface, Richard Nixon’s anxiety peaked. After all, if something goes wrong, he will have to make excuses to ordinary Americans for billions of wasted tax dollars.

Employees of the 37th President of the United States prepared a statement that he was supposed to read in case the worst happened. Even the NASA staff chaplain was on a low start. Watching the Apollo 11 adventures live, the President could only hope he didn’t have to read that statement. As we know, it was never necessary to read it. The mission failure speech was only made public 30 years later.

Astronauts did not land where planned

When Lunar Module Eagle, with Armstrong and Aldrin aboard, undocked from Command Module Columbia, in which Collins remained, the residual pressure inside the tunnel connecting the two spaceships was not sufficiently relieved. So “Eagle” received a small, but still an additional impetus.

Nine minutes before landing, Armstrong realized that the Eagle would fly past the planned landing site. According to astronauts’ estimates, they should have missed by about five kilometers (in fact, they missed by six).

Lunar module "Eagle"
NASA Lunar module “Eagle” after undocking from the command module “Columbia”

But the search for a new safe landing site is not so bad. Due to the overload, the Eagle’s onboard computer distracted astronauts with constant emergency signals, and radio communications with the Mission Control Center were patchy. Fortunately, since the on-board system alarm was intermittent, the MCC considered the risk of overload low and gave the go-ahead to land.

When the Eagle had only 30 seconds of fuel left, Armstrong gently guided the lunar module towards the makeshift landing pad: “Houston, says Tranquility Base. The Eagle sat down. “

The lunar module nearly exploded

As adrenaline dropped and the astronauts completed their tasks, another problem was brewing. Although the Eagle’s landing engine had already been turned off, the sensors recorded an increase in pressure in its fuel line. This could mean only one thing: an ice plug formed in the system, and the accumulated fuel vapors were heated from the unit that had not yet cooled down.

At NASA, the situation was considered critical, and if the increase in pressure is not eliminated, the Eagle could explode. However, before the instructions for venting the fuel system were given to Armstrong and Aldrin, the ice plug melted, the pressure returned to normal, and the problem went away on its own.

The danger of moon dust

Created billions of years ago by meteorite impacts, the Moon lacks processes that could give debris and tiny soil particles smoother shapes. The astronauts have discovered that abrasive dust is much more than a nuisance.

Buzz Aldrin's Trail on the Moon
NASA Aldrin’s boot imprint, which literally inherited in the history of astronautics.

In later missions after Apollo 11, with longer exits to the lunar surface, there were reports that dust particles penetrated the interior of the lunar module, covered the visors of helmets, and caused zippers to wedge. The moon dust penetrated even through the layers of the protective suit material.

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Bizzare & Odd

The peak of deaths on Halloween: the history of 1918 repeats itself in the USA

In the United States, the history of a century ago is repeating itself: in 1918, the Halloween celebration was canceled due to the Spanish flu epidemic – the noise of parties disturbed the sick in the hospitals. Mass events were banned this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but many Americans still decorate their homes and are going to celebrate the holiday online. They did not break traditions in the White House either. At the same time, some US residents are wondering: is it worth celebrating Halloween in 2020, when all thoughts are about death due to the coronavirus?

Americans have already begun preparations for the Halloween celebration, despite the cancellation of mass events. The focus has shifted from hosting parties to decorating their own homes and virtual flash mobs in which Tiktokers offer to dress themselves up as dead Disney princesses . However, some social media users have questioned the need to celebrate Halloween this year, given the coronavirus pandemic. 

“This Halloween will be the scariest one,” they tweet.

100 years ago in the United States there was a similar situation : all Halloween parties were canceled due to the Spanish flu epidemic, which killed 50 to 100 million people worldwide.

On the eve of Halloween, the number of cases of the Spanish flu increased – the second and most powerful wave of the epidemic occurred.

“Not only was there a peak in mortality on Halloween eve, but there were some pretty strong waves of disease,” Carolyn Orbann, assistant professor of medical sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia , told CNN . 

“The highest death rate was observed from October to December, possibly due to a more deadly strain of the virus and crowding in hospitals and military camps.”

However, those Americans who were not affected by the disease were tired of being locked up in quarantine and demanded a holiday. There are reports of local newspapers that year, which say that they celebrated more than ever “harsh and stormy”: and in Alabama, crowds of boys running from home to riots, forcing the police to drive on false calls and provoking accidents. A reporter for The Birmingham News wrote that after a month of quarantine, Birmingham residents were literally torn apart from the desire to celebrate Halloween.

“The Health Council’s order banning parties acted like a red rag for a bull — the killer joy of ordinary Halloween festivities poured in,” wrote local media in 1918. The Americans celebrated so vigorously that the San Francisco authorities had to ban people from making noise, because loud noises irritated patients in wards. 

“Conditions were dire in most places in the United States by October 31, 1918,” Elizabeth Otka, professor of English at the University of Richmond, told CNN. –

Shops, schools, churches were closed, there was devastation and the realization that celebrating Halloween was a bad idea.”

Denver has banned parties, during which they usually arranged “diving for apples, tying the tail to a donkey with a blindfold and other entertainment.” Many states have canceled Halloween celebrations for economic reasons – so as not to waste extra food supplies. “I saw a report from Missouri where they usually throw dry corn into each other’s house,” Orbann said. “But in 1918 the price of corn was too high to be scattered, and the children used sawdust to do it.”

Although public gatherings were banned in cities, some people threw house parties. “People did not break the rules, but adjusted to them,” the historian noted. Despite the horrors of the Spanish woman in 1918, people wanted to celebrate and visit each other, as now, in a pandemic, Elizabeth Otka notes. “1918 was remembered for the stacks of coffins and dead bodies, the gravediggers were simply exhausted,” she added. – Nevertheless, many continued to live as before, if none of their relatives was sick, forgetting how dangerous it can be.

It seems reasonable to spend Halloween this year differently, although I love the holiday, it’s great. But to stay alive, I think, is still better. “

To prevent a 100-year-old history from repeating itself on an entire scale, the Los Angeles authorities banned any Halloween parties, gathering at haunted houses, and children from running to neighbors for candy, although, according to tradition, they and so should be in masks and costumes – carnival. But the Americans are not discouraged and carry out flash mobs on the Internet. So, the participants of one of them on TikTok are invited to fantasize about what would become of the Disney princesses if they did not live to see the happy ending.

@charlottelooks

alice finds a bottle labelled ‘drink me’ unaware of its rapid shrinking side effects

♬ B3AKY Let Us Adore You Remix – Shiiny✨

Another resident in quarantine, Samantha Browning, came up with the idea of ​​painting Barbie toy doll houses for mysterious mansions from horror films. Her new hobby takes Samantha 5-10 hours. With Halloween approaching, items created in the summer have become more relevant, because now, in order to beg for sweets from neighbors, you don’t have to go to their houses, but do it in front of Samantha’s creations “contactlessly”.

“This year the pandemic canceled the traditional Halloween, but I decided to adapt the pipe railings on one of my mansions so that candy would slide down for families who still want to celebrate the holiday in a safe way,” explained Samantha on social media. “One of my dollhouses is on the inside veranda, and on Halloween night, I’ll probably put two of the creepiest houses outside with battery-powered candles.”

They did not cancel the holiday in the White House, even despite Trump’s illness. This was announced on Tuesday by CNN, citing a source. It is noted that when celebrating Halloween, the recommendations of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be taken into account. 

This means adherence to the mask regime and other preventive measures. Usually on this day, relatives of the US administration staff , families of American military personnel and students of the capital’s schools are invited to the White House , and the head of state and the first lady treat children to sweets on the South Lawn of the White House.

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