Must have been a real surprise to everyone involved, mainly the poor lady whose shorts were on fire! This just goes to show, Mother Nature can be "mother-in-law mean" when she wants!
Woman suffers severe burns after rocks collected during beach visit IGNITE in her pocket
PUBLISHED: 04:24 EST, 17 May 2012 | UPDATED: 07:09 EST, 17 May 2012
A woman has had to undergo surgery on her leg after rocks collected by her children, during a day trip to a local beach, may have spontaneously combusted in her pocket.
The 43-year-old woman, who remains unnamed, had enjoyed a day with her family at Trestles Beach, San Diego. During the visit, her children had collected seven unusual-looking rocks - orange and green in colour - and the woman had put them in the right pocket of her cargo shorts to carry home.
Captain Marc Stone, a spokesman for Orange County Fire Authority, explained that the woman began to feel intense heat emanating from her pocket as she was standing in the kitchen of her San Clemente home.
Her clothing and skin began to burn as the heat intensified, and she also suffered second-degree burns to her hand as she tried to remove the rocks from her pocket.
Her husband also suffered second-degree burns to his hand as he tried to help her. Eventually she managed to remove the shorts but the rocks burnt through the fabric and continued to smoulder on the kitchen's wooden floor - filling the home with smoke.
Captain Stone said authorities were conducting tests on the collected rocks, but results were not expected for a couple of weeks.
He said: 'There is phosphorous that naturally occurs on the sand at the beach, but no one has ever heard of pants catching fire.'
Phosphorus in rocks, or phosphorite, is usually deposited by sediment - dissolved phosphorus from continental weathering that is brought to the oceans by rivers and streams.
Trestles Beach, where the family were enjoying their day out, is at the mouth of the San Mateo Creek - the beach gets its name from a wooden bridge that spanned the creek.
It's not hard to imagine that, over millions of years, dissolved phosphorus has been deposited in the rocks in the Trestles Beach area.
It has been suggested that, if the rocks did contain phosphorite, they could have been subjected to friction in the woman's pocket as she walked - leading to a chemical chain reaction that ignited them.
Phosphorus ignites when it is exposed to oxygen, which is why the substance must be kept in oil in laboratories.
Captain Stone said he spoke to the paramedic who treated the woman's injuries before taking her and her husband to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana.
He added: 'He's been on numerous calls for 27 years. He's never seen anything like it.'
Staff at the Western Medical Center confirmed that a woman suffering second- and third-degree burns to her right thigh was admitted on Saturday, and that she is undergoing treatment.
She and her husband were also treated for second-degree burns to their hands.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2145713/Woman-suffers-severe-burns-rocks-collected-beach-visit-IGNITE-pocket.html#ixzz1vBXuqwMq
I don't know what else I can say, except I will be very careful from now on about what I bring back from the beach! How about you?
Coffee on the patio this morning, with maybe with some gravy and biscuits!