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Author Topic: Why doesn't the human body burn up?  (Read 2527 times)

Ardhen

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Why doesn't the human body burn up?
« on: 14/12/2010 12:30:04 »
Ardhen asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Why doesn't the human body get burnt despite high levels of heat inside the body?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 15/12/2010 09:01:13 by chris »


 

SteveFish

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Re: Why doesn't the human body burn up?
« Reply #1 on: 14/12/2010 17:04:18 »
This is why I didn't become a surgeon. I would just hate wearing those welding gloves, to keep from getting burned, for performing delicate operations. Do you really think that 37.0 °C (98.6 °F) is hot enough to cause burns?
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: Why doesn't the human body burn up?
« Reply #2 on: 14/12/2010 22:01:27 »
Perhaps Ardhern is referring to damage to vital organs due to overheating?
 

SteveFish

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Re: Why doesn't the human body burn up?
« Reply #3 on: 14/12/2010 22:29:13 »
We could speculate endlessly what Ardhen had in mind. Perhaps he/she could inform us what was meant by "burnt."
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Why doesn't the human body burn up?
« Reply #4 on: 14/12/2010 22:31:46 »
There are reports of Spontaneous Human Combustion, although there is debate about the truth of it.

The body is mostly water, and can not survive if it was raised to the ignition temperature of the tissues (still the water doesn't burn, except with certain chemical reactions, mostly with metals).
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: Why doesn't the human body burn up?
« Reply #5 on: 15/12/2010 01:06:30 »
We could speculate endlessly what Ardhen had in mind. Perhaps he/she could inform us what was meant by "burnt."

It could be a translation problem, but, as Ardhen is a guest, I can't get a sense of where he/she is.
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Why doesn't the human body burn up?
« Reply #6 on: 15/12/2010 08:41:52 »
It could be a translation problem,

You're probably right there Geezer. Even for some who have English as their first language, putting their thoughts into words can be a tricky thing and may not always work out too well.

I wonder if Ardhen is referring to the difference in core temperature and that of our extremities. For example, wiggle your finger* in water at 37o C and it feels quite warm, whereas if you could dip your spleen in the water it wouldn't feel warm.

*Glad I opted for a safe extremity there!
 

SteveFish

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Why doesn't the human body burn up?
« Reply #7 on: 15/12/2010 18:51:49 »
Spleen! You said spleen in public! Well, I just don't know about this younger generation of pudknockers nowadays.
 

Offline Don_1

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Why doesn't the human body burn up?
« Reply #8 on: 16/12/2010 13:57:54 »
younger generation

You are now a friend for life!

Don't be overly concerned, I rather doubt that will be too long a period.
 

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Why doesn't the human body burn up?
« Reply #8 on: 16/12/2010 13:57:54 »

 

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