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article imageBaby boy is able to set himself on fire with his own body

By Jonathan Lam     Aug 15, 2013 in Odd News
A two-and-a-half-month-old boy was burned a total of four times since he was born. This rare medical phenomenon is known as Spontaneous Human Combustion and there are only about 200 reported cases in over three centuries.
Rahul, a native of Tindivanam, Tamil Nadu was admitted to Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital on Thursday for burns reportedly caused by a rare medical phenomenon known as Spontaneous Human Combustion or SHC for short. This phenomenon occurs when a person catches fire due to emission of inflammable substances through the body.
Sweat, urine, blood, and a series of other tests have been done to ascertain the cause of the fire and find out if his body contains any inflammable substances. The doctors are also looking into the possibility of abuse. Dr. R Narayana Babu, head of the pediatrics department in Kilpauk Medical College says, "The body burns spontaneously due to combustible gases emitting from the patient's body, without any external source of ignition. Clothes and other things nearby that are inflammable may also catch fire."
He also adds that an episode may or may not occur again. SHC is like any other burn injury, it leaves scars and can lead to secondary infections. Plastic surgery is also expected to be done. As for now, the relatives or parents will just have to keep an eye on the baby. Matchsticks, crackers or anything that can catch fire should not be kept near Rahul.
Only around 200 similar cases like Rahul's has been reported over the last three centuries. According to Ask History, the first known accounts of SHC dated all the way back to 1641. SHC gained wider exposure in the 19th century after Charles Dickens used it to kill off one of the characters in his novel "Bleak House." Critics accused Dickens of legitimizing something that didn't exist.
Now more recently, cases of SHC have been suspected when police and fire department officials have found burned corpses with unscathed furniture around them.
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