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back to article Exploding dinosaur theory EXPLODED

Bone-bothering boffins have long theorised that sea-dwelling ichthyosaurs were prone to exploding because their skeletons are often found in a scattered pattern. Not that a time-traveller from the future was there and lobbed a hand grenade at them - but that the creatures' decomposition process produced enough putrefaction gases …

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Is pressure now measured in...

bloated human and goat corpses?

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Happy

Re: Is pressure now measured in...

Looks like we need a new Register unit for pressure.

Bloated human corpse = 0.035 bar = 3500 Pascals.

So the pressure at Challenger Deep (where James Cameron popped down last week) is 31429 bloated human corpses.

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Go

Re: Is pressure now measured in...

...or 13924 bloated goat corpses.

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WTF?

But it never said the dead beast sank then exploded, so the pressure at depth is irrelevant. It said it floated and bloated then burst and sank. Didn't it?

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Pint

hugo, you're applying logic? Sod off, it's Friday!

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Bloat 'n float

Is an accepted palaeontological term for when terrestrial fossils are found in marine sediments. The dead beasty gets all puffy and bob, bob, bobs down a river until it goes flat and sinks to the bottom.

Unless of course they all died in the Flood.

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Re: Bloat 'n float

It is indeed a tragic irony that so many marine animals died in The Flood.

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Unhappy

I realise that the work is worthwhile and contributes to the science but.........

"so the researchers measured the internal pressure of a hundred bodies "

...............there are some jobs I am very happy for other scientists to do!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I realise that the work is worthwhile and contributes to the science but.........

The article doesn't mention whether they were extremely hot blonde human bodies. Nor where the "internal" pressure was monitored.

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Devil

Re: I realise that the work is worthwhile and contributes to the science but.........

I think some guys were caught by authorities and one of them BSed their way out of it (we've all gone to school with that guy). So they got grant money, and I say the field of exploding corpses is one that needs funding. In fact, I'm tempted to add anybody associated with the Twilight series as test subjects.

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Coat

Is it just me...

Did anyone else picture some surface dwelling scavenger taking a bite from the bloated carcase, and then watching helplessly as its meal shoots off across the water at high speed?

Just me then...

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Happy

Re: Is it just me...

With a humourous "tthhhhbpbpbpb!" sound as it skims across the waves ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is it just me...

No.... it's just you.

(I'd see someone about that...)

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Pint

Re: Is it just me...

"I'd see someone about that..."

Oh, but I did. I once had a long chat with somebody about the role of humour in everyday life, and how it was important to see the ridiculous side of things whenever possible.

I also touched briefly on how people take themselves far too seriously, and how children lose that vital spark of magical wonder and excitement as they grow up and settle down.

I found it very useful, but I don't think he really understood me. After about ten minutes he even stopped trying to sell me their extended warranty...

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I'm also picturing

said scavenger desperately holding its nose or passing out from the smell afterwards...

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Exploding carcases

Somehow that reminds me of the "theory" that cow carcases do occasionally explode due to putrefaction gas. Especially in remote areas such as high up in the Alps. The putrefaction gas turned out to be pyrotechnically encouraged... Then again, I don't think that many Austrian mountain farmers shared their lifetime with ichthyosaurs.

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Mushroom

Re: Exploding carcases

This article reminds me of my grandpa telling me this history from the Spanish Civil War, when some of his mates, Republican soldiers like himself, had the bright idea of shooting a rotting dead cow from ten meters away. The cow exploded, and these geniuses spent two days trying to remove the stains and the stench from their kit, their clothes and themselves, in a mountain river, in April. Don't think they tried the same trick again :-).

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Coat

Re: Exploding carcases

It must be the sudden spread of decompositional odours from the ruptured carcass that then leads to loud and repeated bouts of vomiting from any nearby cows.

Which is why the hills are alive with the sound of moo-sick.

Oh god I am so sorry. I think it's time to go home.

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Coffee/keyboard

"pyrotechnically encouraged"

Yes, we needed a politically correct term for "blew the fuck out of it."

And that's the fifth keyboard this year. Thank you so very much! ;)

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Boffin

Sorry to be pedantic...

... but ichthyosaurs are (were) not technically dinosaurs.

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Trollface

Re: Sorry to be pedantic...

You're apologising for pedantry?!?

You do realise you posted on The Register, right? ;-)

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Happy

Re: Sorry to be pedantic...

Thanks for helping me to avoid it. My first thought when reading ichthyosaur was... "That's not a dinosaur!"

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scientists need to go back to school

large marine creatures do in fact have a tendency to "explode" re: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3437455.stm

land mammals have a more porous skin allowing gasses to seep out and not build pressure - marine creatures on the other hand have a much thicker hide with a lot less porosity allowing pressure to build until the creature splits or even explodes.

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FAIL

Re: scientists need to go back to school

And sometime we give them a helping hand...

http://www.katu.com/news/3871922.html

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Re: scientists need to go back to school

i gather the 'Fail' icon was for failing to see the point, your link is to an entirely different event, which i might add was never misrepresented as being a natural explosion.

fail indeed

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Mushroom

Re: scientists need to go back to school

I hear the Japanese and Norwegians have been helping them for ages...

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Pint

False evidence on corpse decomposition

The so-called forensic "experts" recently figured out that they'd totally neglected the role of vultures in the decomposition schedule of human corpses under some circumstances. Their theories of decomposition schedules were missing this potentially major factor. It seems likely that some murderers will have gotten away with it, and some innocent people will have been convicted, due to this underestimation of professional ignorance.

The paleo folks are the absolute worst at understanding the limits of what they actually know, as compared to their seemingly unlimited imagination and their story-telling as 'facts' skills. If one attends a paleo*.* lecture, at the end of each statement, it's your scientific duty to yell out "..., maybe!!!! Or maybe not!!!"

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Boyles law

Perhaps these scientists need to understand Boyle's Law.

The pressure they measured inside the decomposing bodies was relative to the ambient pressure. A body decomposing on the seabed would have the same relative pressure, until it had enough gas inside to change its buoyancy and start floating, As the corpse rises the volume of gas will expand (Boyle's Law), increasing the pressure inside the corpse in relation to the ambient pressure. A corpse rising 10m from the seabed will see a 1bar increase in internal pressure, easily enough to rupture lungs etc.

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Linux

Re: Boyles law

As per Flanders & Swann:

"The greater the external pressure, the greater the volume of hot air."

I guess "pressure" includes financial.

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Black Helicopters

Conspiracy

"Not that a time-traveller from the future was there and lobbed a hand grenade at them"

And how would /you/ know that, hm ?

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Alert

Full floater

Back then there were no manky seagulls swooping in to gobble up the rotting flesh.

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Obligatory link

We're talking about exploding marine animals (again) and no one has linked to this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Vmnq5dBF7Y

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Angel

Putrescene/Caderine

Just for your'alls education:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadaverine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putrescene

Bonus points for the first person to synthesize a gallon of each and deploy them creatively. ;-)

Dave

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Windows

Isn't this a better explanation....?

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/p480x480/545673_410885292274263_205344452828349_1485632_1708851888_n.jpg

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Pint

In that case

"the smell of ptrefaction and rotting flesh"

Must get a Mcdonalds on the way home

"swelling up with bloated gases"

Followed by a couple of pints of Meantime Real ale...

Delish. Almost brings a tear to my eye.

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