Woman’s Fart Sparks Fire Outbreak During Surgery At Japanese Hospital: How ‘Fart Lighting’ Works

A fire broke out inside an operating room at the Tokyo Medical University Hospital after a fart escaped from the intestines of a woman undergoing surgery and ignited a beam from laser equipment surgeons were using for the operation.

The fire, according to the English-language version of the Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun, seriously burned the woman’s body, including her waist and legs.

According to the Asahi Shimbun, the woman, in her 30s, was undergoing a surgical laser operation on her cervix in the Shinjuku Ward at the Tokyo Medical University Hospital on April 15 when gas leaked from her intestines into open space inside the operating room. The gas was then ignited by irradiation from the laser surgical equipment, sparking a fire that spread. The surgical drape caught fire and burned much of patient’s body, including her waist and legs, according to Strait Times.

A committee of external experts investigated the unusual incident and released a report on October 28. The report said that there were no flammable materials in the operating room at the time of the surgery and that the laser equipment used for the surgery was functioning normally at the time.

Fart flame
Fart flame can be yellow or orange or blue-colored [Image by Blambca/Shutterstock]

“When the patient’s intestinal gas leaked into the space of the operating theater, it ignited with the irradiation of the laser, and the burning spread, eventually reaching the surgical drape and causing the fire,” the report said, according to the Asahi Shimbum.

The identity of the patient was unknown. It was also unknown whether the surgical operation was eventually concluded successfully.

But it is known that a human fart is highly flammable and can be ignited by a match or lighter flame. The practice of deliberating igniting flatus is known as fart lighting, flatus ignition or fire farting

The color of the flame depends on the particular mixture of gases formed inside the intestines. That is, flame color depends on the individual’s unique biochemistry.

Fart flame is usually red, orange or yellow in color, according to About.com. But occasionally, a blue flame is produced, indicating a very hot flame.

A blue fart flame, known as “blue angel” or “blue dart,” is highly sought after among practitioners of flatus ignition.

Blue flame
Blue fart flame is known as “blue angel” or “blue dart” [Image by DVARG/Shutterstock]

A blue flame is produced by methane in the gut while a yellow flame is produced by hydrogen gas, usually the most abundant gas in the fart of the average individual. This means that the average individual produces yellow- or orange-colored fart flame.

But a few individuals who produce fart that has a higher-than-average proportion of methane are able to generate a blue fart flame consistently. Some practitioners of pyroflatulence attempt to induce a blue flame by eating certain types of food with high sulfur content, such as broccoli, cabbage and kale.

But the color of fart flame depends more on having the right type of gut bacteria.

Fart lighting is done by farting on a lighter. It is a popular trend among college students who have produced hundreds of videos on YouTube showing a fart from their system being ignited.

However, medical experts warn that the practice is dangerous because it can cause serious bodily injury.

According to experts, a fart is highly flammable because it contains a flammable mixture of gases, including methane and hydrogen sulfide.

Hydrogen sulfide, along with other substances, such as indoles, skatoles, volatile amines and short-chain fatty acids, impart the characteristic odor to a fart. Other flammable gases in a fart include oxygen, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen.

The gases are produced mostly by bacteria that live inside the digestive tract. The bacteria break down complex components of the diet into simpler compounds.

Every normal person has a unique colony of gut bacteria.

[Featured Image by S_L/Shutterstock]