Ever seen people walk across hot coals? They can do it because coal is a poor conductor of heat and, if you walk fast enough, you should be ok. Richard Wiseman offers a brief explanation here:
New age-y motivational speaker Tony Robbins uses the demonstration in many of his seminars. On Thursday night, at an event attended by 6,000 people, 21 of them were injured after they tried to walk across coals that were between 1,200-2,000 degrees:
Jonathan Correll, 25, decided to check out what was going on when “I heard wails of pain, screams of agony.” He said one young woman appeared to be in so much pain “it was horrific.”
“It was people seriously hurting, like they were being tortured,” he said. “First one person, then a couple minutes later another one, and there was just a line of people walking on that fire. It was just bizarre, man.”
Kim, a 22-year-old who didn’t want her last name used because she is still attending the event, said her two friends who did the walk seemed fine at first, but their feet started to blister about 10 minutes later. She said other people had similar problems, and a number of them were soaking their feet in a fountain at the park.
“It seemed abnormal that so many got hurt,” she said, adding that many attendees Friday complained about blisters, and a woman sitting near her had both feet completely bandaged.
You would think some of them would’ve learned their lesson after the first screams…
The amazing thing is that the people who made it across without injuring themselves probably believe it’s their mindset that got them through it.
It’s not. It’s physics.
It’s kind of like lying on a bed of nails. You can convince yourself that if you concentrate enough, you won’t get injured, but you’re better off knowing how the force is applied across your body.
(via Token Skeptic)