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Up until the 1800's, it was commonly believed that placing dirty underwear in a bucket with wheat grains would "generate" mice. This was called spontaneous generation, the idea that life could be created from nonliving objects.

how do oily rags spontaneously combust?

A guy named Ole Worm found evidence that "lemmings were rodents and not, as some thought, spontaneously generated by the air."

What is spontaneously generated?

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what does spontaneously generated mean?

  1. English words like "matter" and "material" come from the Latin word mater, meaning mother, since they believed all things and organisms were spontaneously generated by 'Mother Earth.'

  2. Hay bales generate their own heat and have been know to spontaneously combust for a variety of different reasons.

  3. Aristotle argued that certain organisms, such as the eel, were produced by spontaneous generation as he observed that they did not possess reproduction organs nor did they lay eggs. Spontaneous generation was not refuted until the nineteenth century

  4. Around this time, the germ theory of disease began to gain credibility and spontaneous generation to lose its standing as scientists began to understand single cellular life forms.

  5. He proved that microorganisms come from other microorganisms and do arise from spontaneous generation.

  6. It is possible for a uranium deposit to spontaneously undergo nuclear fission, thus acting as a "natural" nuclear reactor capable of generating up to 100 kilowatts.

  7. His experiments with spontaneous generation in mutton broth and wheat led him to strongly defend the idea of spontaneous generation.

  8. In 1862 the French Academy of Sciences offered the Alhumbert Prize to anyone who could prove or disprove the theory of spontaneous generation.

  9. In 1651 he published Exercitationes de generatione animalium in which he made the first strong statement against spontaneous generation.

  10. In 1858 he published his most famous work, Cellular Pathology, which built on the previous work of other scientists and rejected the idea of spontaneous generation.

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Why do oily rags spontaneously combust?

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19th century physicist John Tyndall's curiosity to know why the sky was blue led to the development of a test of optically pure air, which helped convince scientist's of Louis Pasteur's claim that bacteria cannot spontaneously generate.

[TIL]For centuries, People believed Lice spontaneously generated from human skin - source

Nicaraguan Sign Language was spontaneously generated in the 1970's and 80's by deaf children in Nicaragua, which previously had no formal sign language. - source

Self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reactions can occur spontaneously in nature, and have at 16 sites in Gabon, Africa, which generated thermal power for a few hundred thousand years.

People once thought that bees spontaneously generated from rotting bull carcasses - source

What happens when you spontaneously combust?

It is possible for a uranium deposit to spontaneously undergo nuclear fission, thus acting as a "natural" nuclear reactor capable of generating up to 100 watts.

How does hay spontaneously combust?

About Spontelectrics, an unexplained phenomena where thin films can spontaneously generate electric fields up to 100 million volts per square meter.

When too much plutonium is put in one place, it becomes “critical” and begins to fission uncontrollably, spontaneously sparking a nuclear chain reaction, which releases energy and generates a deadly burst of radiation.

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