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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

Spontaneous combustion redux: Indian mother claims her baby boy's feet 'caught fire' two years after her other son was found burning 86

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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Tesla autopilot sensor recorded “ghost” in an empty cemetery

Tesla autopilot sensor recorded "ghost" in an empty cemetery 99

A Tesla electric car with an activated autopilot function recorded an invisible person who allegedly moved around the cemetery. Social network users jokingly noted in the comments that, most likely, this is some new function from Elon Musk, which allows you to see ghosts.

In the United States, a Tesla electric car with an activated autopilot function recorded an invisible person who allegedly moved through a cemetery.

The corresponding video was posted by Twitter user Ovidiu Maciuc.

The recording shows how a silhouette of a man appears on the monitor of an electric car, moving around the cemetery. After that, the driver raises the camera and starts filming the graveyard through the windshield, but there are no people there.

After some time, the “ghost” went in the opposite direction from Tesla and disappeared from the on-board computer screen.

Social network users jokingly noted in the comments that, most likely, this is some new function from Elon Musk, which allows you to see ghosts.

For many though, if you take into account the comments, the video seemed rather creepy. Some even tried to guess what the navigation system actually showed.

Some users thought the system could recognize ghosts. Others refuted this version and said that the reason for all this is an insufficiently accurate sensor, which was used for the equipment of the Tesla car.

Earlier it became known that Tesla electric cars in the near future may receive a new function with which they can talk with pedestrians. For this, American cars will be equipped with special external speakers. 

In addition, Tesla cars in the future will receive the option to change the horn and sound of movement at low speeds to warn pedestrians. According to Elon Musk, among the sounds of movement there will be the sound of the clatter of a horse’s hooves, and as a whistle – the bleating of a goat.

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Mysterious energy source melts Tel Aviv sidewalks, leading to the evacuation of several buildings in Israel

Mysterious energy source melts Tel Aviv sidewalks, leading to the evacuation of several buildings in Israel 100

About two weeks ago, Tel Aviv residents noticed that the concrete surface outside their homes was heating up and steam was coming out of the ground. Tests showed that steam that reached 60 ° C (140 ° F) was water based.

The witness explains: “I was afraid that there was a power line in the area and asked a worker to dig out the ground with a shovel. Steam suddenly came out. I imagined it was probably a geyser. It seemed to me that this was a geological incident – also because there were no problems with electricity in the building. “

Although the experts did not find any hazardous substances or any risk to the stability of buildings at the site, residents as well as kindergartens in the area were evacuated.

Officials described the heat source as “trapped energy” of unknown origin.

Work continues, steam is still rising and the ground is still hot. It is currently unclear what is causing the warming. Note the hole dug in the area. The area is still blocked.

Mysterious origins

City officials said they will “continue to monitor the temperature of the earth, which is expected to cool down for a long time, and will continue to investigate the causes of the unusual event.”

Israel Electric Corporation has not found a connection between heat and power in the area.

The Israel Geological Survey confirmed the rise in temperature after testing ground and water temperature levels, but said it has not yet found an explanation.

Despite their best efforts, municipal officials, the fire department, Israel Electric Corporation and the Ministry of the Environment have yet to find a source of heat.

Meanwhile, the Tel Aviv municipality has informed dozens of evacuees that they can return to their homes. However, residents are not going to return until they receive a detailed account of the source of the mysterious event.

“They evacuated us because they were concerned about our safety, and now they are urging us to return without any convincing explanation. How can you be sure that there is no more danger? “

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The night sky in southern Taiwan shows a weird red moon alarming netizens: 2021 disaster year omen?

The night sky in southern Taiwan shows a weird red moon alarming netizens: 2021 disaster year omen? 101
Photo by WILLIAM WEST - AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Some people in Chiayi, Taiwan took pictures of a large dark red moon hanging in the night sky on the first night of 2021 and uploaded them to Facebook. There are also people in Tainan who have photographed the rare “red moon”. The weird scene has aroused heated discussions among netizens. Some people worry that an earthquake may occur, while others suspect that this is a precursor to the year of disaster in 2021?

Yesterday, on January 1 at about 8:00 in the evening, Chiayi residents shared a photo of “2021’s first red moon” on Facebook. As you can see in the photo, the weather was quite good at that time. There was a clear big round moon in the night sky, but it was a dark red moon, which was very different from the usual moon.

Later, people in Kaohsiung and Tainan also posted photos of the red moon they had taken.

The weird and rare “big red moon” immediately attracted the attention of netizens. Some people think that such a sight is caused by air pollution, and some people think that the red moon is “extremely beautiful”, but many people worry about whether it is a harbinger before the disaster ? 

“Hope is not a harbinger of disaster~”, “A harbinger of disaster in 2021???”, “It looked uneasy”, “After seeing the red moon, I hope everyone will be safe”.

Some netizens worry that this is a pre- earthquake omen.

“Remember the red moon before the 921 earthquake (omen)”, “earthquake precursors”, “I feel that there will be an earthquake again recently”, and “It seems that 2021 will be another year of bloody disaster.”

The British clairvoyant Craig Hamilton-Parker published his prediction for 2021 on YouTube in December last year, stating that, as far as the world is concerned, 2021 will be a year full of social unrest, armed conflict and political changes. There will be difficult times right now until 2025.

He also predicted that the biggest worry is climate and earthquakes. A tsunami will occur near Japan. Large earthquakes will occur in the Himalayas, Iran and the Americas. There will also be problems such as floods, dams bursting, and huge icebergs obstructing shipping. Until 2025, the severity of environmental problems will gradually increase.

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