Doctors in India are baffled by a baby who has reportedly been spontaneously combusting.
The baby boy was born in May, and his parents say his body first caught fire when he was just nine days old; his mother saw his stomach and knee burning. (Via IBN/CNN)
His parents say it’s happened three more times.
“The case has baffled experts in India, with doctors suggesting the cause of Rahul’s mystery burns could be down to combustible gases emitting from his pores.” (Via Barcroft TV)
Yes, doctors think this could be an extremely rare and, well, debatable condition: spontaneous human combustion. Rahul is undergoing a variety of tests .
There have been reported cases of spontaneous human combustion for years — dating back to 1663. In 2011, it was even listed as an official cause of death by a coroner in Ireland. (Via HowStuffWorks, Discovery)
Though The New York Times offers another possibility. Rahul and his parents were living at his grandmother’s home when he first seemingly burst into flames.
“ ... doubts of foul play persist given that Ms. Karnan’s mother’s home ... is in a village where in 2004 several homes burned to the ground because of the presence of the highly inflammable phosphorous in the building material, a fact confirmed by local fire department officials.”
And the baby’s father has denied accusations from some that he and his wife burned Rahul themselves. The family has now been banned from the village; locals fear the baby will catch homes on fire.