“Here is the remarkable image of one Hans Steininger, man of the extraordinary beard (reckoned to have been recorded as 4 and one half feet long.) Now, the story goes that his claim to fame (his beard), was in the end, responsible for his premature demise.

Beards, you see, are not fireproof.
Steininger was rumored to have exercised safety precautions, rolling his wooly chin-drape and tucking it into a pouch, so as not to trip over the darned thing.
Steininger may/may not have entertained ideas that such a drape could possibly double as a candle-wick, and incinerate him.

According to records, he forgot to secure his beard in aforementioned safety-pouch. And at the same time, a ghastly fire broke out. He allegedly tripped over the beard, which led to his fiery death. How Sad! 😦

But is this story entirely true? I wonder. Here’s why:

The famous American writer-researcher, Charles Fort, wrote about many an anomalous phenomena. To include Spontaneous Combustion.

Spontaneous Combustion is a subject fraught with much argument. Can people just burst into a fireball, for apparently no good reason, other than their chemistry permits it?

There are reports old and new, of recorded cases of what may be Spontaneous Combustion, for those who are interested in scrutinizing the subject.

I bring this subject of Spontaneous Combustion up, because I don’t believe Steininger simply forgot to roll & tuck the dang beard. I think that the man spontaneously combusted, and was both Cause and Victim of…unfortunate chemistry. Lo! The Damned!

SEE:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3672959/The-man-who-created-the-Fortean-Times.html

–AND–

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/human-biology/10-ways-to-die3.htm

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