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Author Topic: Combusting koalas
snopes
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Comment: read this on the web... sounds so ludicrous that I cannot believe
it is true. Maybe you should add it to your snopes archive...

here's the story:

* "Koala bears may spontaneously combust when
isolated from their group due to a build up
of eucylyptus oil on the tops of their heads.
They cannot reach this area to clean it and
rely on other koalas to groom them, hence
when isolated for a long time the oil builds
up and in extreme heat can ignite and explode
the koala. This has been blamed for many bush
fires." (Dill)

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Penny
Deck the Malls


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It's not quite true. The oil doesn't spontaneously combust per se, it's usually ignited by the heat generated by the friction of drop bears falling past their trees at high velocities.

And, of course, neither koalas nor drop bears are actual bears.

Posts: 340 | From: Redmond, WA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Young man as an artist
The Red and the Green Stamps


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According to wikipedia :

quote:
On warm days vapourised eucalyptus oil rises above the bush to create the characteristic distant blue haze of the Australian landscape. Eucalyptus oil is highly flammable (trees have been known to explode) and bush fires can travel easily through the oil-rich air of the tree crowns. Eucalypts are well adapted for periodic fires, in fact most species are dependent on it for spread and regeneration: both from reserve buds under the bark, and from fire-germinated seeds sprouting in the ashes
And Koalas do not live in groups, also from wikipedia :

quote:
Female Koalas are solitary and occupy distinct home ranges that they rarely leave. In the more fertile areas, these ranges overlap; in areas where suitable food trees are scarce they tend to be larger and more exclusive. Males are not territorial, but do not tolerate one another, particularly not during the breeding season: dominant individuals attack subordinate ones, and most adult males carry scars on their face, ears and forearms as a result.



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inkiemouse
Let It Wasabi


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OT:

Q: Why did the koala fall out of the tree?
A: Because it was dead.

Q: Why did the second koala fall out of the tree?
A: Because it was on the first koala's back.

Q: Why did the third koala fall out of the tree?
A: Because it thought it was a game.

Q: Why did the man fall off his bike?
A: Because he was continuously pummeled by falling koalas.

--------------------
A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

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becky
The Red and the Green Stamps


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i have heard that koalas are known to explode in the event of a bushfire due to a build up of oil, but they are a solitary animal and don't actually start the fires.
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bobbotg
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Penny:
It's not quite true. The oil doesn't spontaneously combust per se, it's usually ignited by the heat generated by the friction of drop bears falling past their trees at high velocities.

Of course, the solution to the drop bear problem is to wear a pointy hat. With sequins.
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