A lot of your body is made up of your blood - around 7% in fact! Your blood is vital for keeping you alive - it sends the oxygen to all of the parts of your body and it helps to remove any waste from your body too.
It helps to ensure that our bodies don’t become poisoned by toxic waste. What you may be wondering, however, is whether this vital component of our bodies is flammable. Will you spontaneously combust given the right circumstances?
The short answer is no - your blood is not flammable, so you don’t need to worry about it catching on fire. This is because 55% of your blood is made out of something called plasma.
Plasma is primarily made up of water - around 92% of it. This means that it won’t catch fire, since water is usually used to put fires out. Your blood isn’t going to actively catch on fire thanks to its makeup.
In this article, we’re going to dive into the key components of blood, the reasons that it doesn’t burn and we’re also going to talk about one theory about how spontaneous human combustion could work.
What Is Blood Made Out Of?
First, let’s talk about the function of your blood. Your blood is made to basically be a form of transportation in your body.
It moves the nutrients and oxygen in your body from one place to the next, and it goes to your cells. In addition to this, it’s also designed to get rid of any waste in your metabolic system.
Unfortunately, we are yet to find an artificial version of blood. It’s impossible to create it in factories or laboratories. It can only be created inside of the human body.
The blood is made up of four crucial things. It’s made up of plasma, platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells.
Around 45% of your blood is made up of the red blood cells. What’s especially amazing is that you can create a surplus of 4 billion red blood cells every single hour.
Your red blood cells will usually last for around 120 days, and then they will die and make their way out of your body. Once this occurs, more red blood cells are created in order to account for this new deficit.
The red blood cells will then transport the oxygen around your body.
So what about the white blood cells? There aren’t quite as many of these, but they hold a huge role. The white blood cells in your body are designed to protect your immune system. They are designed to stop pathogens from getting into your body.
Plasma, on the other hand, is basically a clear fluid and all of the platelets and cells travel through it around the body. This fluid consists of hormones, sugar, water, proteins and salts and all of these are vital for the sake of keeping your cells healthy. 55% of your blood volume consists of plasma.
If you cut yourself and don’t bleed to death - congratulations! It means that your platelets are doing their job. They come to the origin of your wound, and then they join forces to stop the bleeding so you can heal.
During the span of your life, you will end up pumping around 1.5 million barrels of blood around your body. That’s a lot of blood!
Can Blood Catch Fire?
Technically, blood isn’t flammable. This is because it contains so much water. You cannot burn water. In fact, it has the opposite effect - if water touches flame, it extinguishes it.
Okay then, can you set someone’s blood on fire?
Theoretically, this could be possible. Of course, you’d need to make all of the water evaporate first and then you’d only have organic chemicals remaining. These chemicals consist of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon and a few other trace elements.
If the chemicals can be heated to a high temperature then you could potentially make the blood catch fire since the remaining elements are flammable.
Human beings don’t catch fire particularly easily though, mainly because there is so much water in the body and the cells.
There is a slight concern though that we have to mention. That’s right, the concept of spontaneous human combustion.
All About Spontaneous Human Combustion
It sounds like something out of a horror movie, but it’s true. There are a decent amount of people that have through time managed to completely burn to death. These people burned without any fire available to them, and they didn’t manage to burn the things near to them either.
This concept is known as spontaneous human combustion - SHC for short.
Most people say that these bodies have just caught fire - no other explanation has been provided.
It’s worth noting that there’s a huge issue with this theory. That is that the world doesn’t work that way, at least as far as we currently understand it.
If you have read this article up until now, you will understand that people cannot catch fire. As such, it’s pretty difficult to set fire to someone. It seems ludicrous that a person could burn to death without there being some kind of a source.
But what about body fat?
Yes, there is an explanation for this - somewhat. It’s fairly simple actually.
Most parts of human beings don’t burn particularly well, but there is just one thing that does. This is something that other animals have too. These are the subdermal lipids. To the layperson, that’s basically your body fat.
It’s basic biology - fat is always going to burn. This is because it’s like an oil. If it can manage to heat up enough then there’s a chance that it can catch fire, like any other oil.
Let’s say you like to drink and smoke just a little too much. You’ve gotten into bed ready to get forty winks and your cigarette is still lit. You didn’t realize it, but you dropped that cigarette on the floor.
This is more common than you may think and it’s a common reason why a lot of smokers die in house fires.
On occasion, that cigarette may not land on your bed. Instead, it’s on your skin. It starts to burn through your skin and you haven’t even noticed because you’re too intoxicated.
It starts to reach the fat underneath your skin, and that then catches on fire. As you probably know, a fat fire can burn quite quickly.
Of course, that fire is not capable of spreading from the fat and around the remainder of the body because of the sheer amount of water in the human body. The fire will then just burn the fat deposits in the body and whatever else it’s touching such as clothes.
The fire will eventually go out because it can’t get to the other parts of the body. The cigarette will basically disintegrate because the fire was so hot. As such, you aren’t likely to find cigarettes around people that have died of SHC.
It’s also why you aren’t going to find the entire room on fire either.
This isn’t strictly the case - it’s just a theory, so this may not be true either.
Basically, a human body is capable of burning. Blood, however, is not. Blood is made up of a lot of water so it’s not going to catch fire. Technically you could even put out a fire with blood because of the sheer amount of water.