Mystery burning coastal stones remains undisclosed

June 7, 2012 11:48

In this image, the Orange County Health Agency shows stones, selected a woman on the coast of San Onofre State Beach. Obtained stones ignited in her pocket, causing her severe burns.

What could cause a fire in the pocket of free short women stones picked up on the popular oceanfront?

For scientists, the answer is … yes, they have no clear answer.

Case in Orange County, where a woman was severely burned by stones picked up in the last weekend for San Onofre State Beach, baffled scientists, who said they had not seen anything like it and they do not have a clear understanding of what has happened.

"It's absolutely unbelievable," said chemistry professor at the University of California at Irvine, Larry Overman.

Woman 43 years of San Clemente, on Thursday delivered to the hospital with burns of the second and third degree, on Saturday was on the north shore of San Diego with his family, officials said. Her name was not released.

Her children took stones, among them were those special — one large, marble-gray, one smaller, green, like teenagers mutant Ninja Turtles.

Both stone ispeschereny bright orange streaks and specks.

Mother put the stones in the right pocket and went home. Then stones suddenly caught fire.

The witness said she saw flames coming from a short woman. She received burns of the second and third degree of right knee to hip. Her husband also suffered burns on his hands when he tried to help her.

Health Agency examined both stones, and tests showed the presence of phosphorescent material on the stones, which were then sent to the state lab for further testing, said a representative of the agency Tricia Lendkvist.

This finding, however, only added to the mystery.

Scientists have wondered how such chemicals like phosphorus, it could get to the beach Southern California? And why such a volatile substance is not on fire before?

"I can not think of a scenario appears on the beach chemicals with such properties," — said Overman.

Professor of Chemistry Andrew Borovik also in doubt. He said that the phosphorus — which is usually stored in a controlled environment in the water — really can ignite on contact with air. He it is unclear how phosphoric substance could be part of the stone.

"I do not know how it can just lie on the beach," — says Borovik. "This is unbelievable."

Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of California, James Ertman suggests two possibilities: inorganic chemicals could get ashore from passing ship or from nearby Camp Pendleton (Marine Corps Base, ca. A delayed ignition could be wet basis stones, because they did not ignite until they were dry — and we do not know what else could be in the pocket of a woman, he added.

The lack of scientific consensus, however, has not stopped speculation on Twitter. Some have suggested that the stones are in some way connected with the nearby troubled nuclear facility San Onofre, located on the south coast.

They suggested that the bank could dissipate any radioactive waste.

This seems to be the only theory that Ertman ready deleted. "I doubt very much that this is possible," — he said.

As a result, the case with burning stones remains unresolved.

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