View Full Version : Would a corpse be left?

05-09-2010, 02:53 AM
I was writing a sci-fi story where the main character blows himself up to take out the antagonist. The explosion is caused by an energy gun, and the crater left behind is ten feet wide. The explosion is also hot enough to turn the crater into glass, as they were in a desert.

If somebody came by later, would they find gory bodies, or would the bodies be thoroughly disintegrated?

05-09-2010, 03:04 AM
Considering that this is a fictitious weapon, with fictitious effects, I think you're on your own here. If you need remains, have remains. If you need total vaporization, nothing left, that would be fine too.


05-09-2010, 03:06 AM
Same. You could also apply military math - three birds roosting on a wire, you shoot the middle one with an RPG round, how many are left.


05-09-2010, 03:10 AM
In order to get glass from sand, your weapon would be generating temperatures well in excess of 1,000 degrees, Fahrenheit. You would not have recognizable human remains with this kind of scenario, nor any DNA evidence to identify.

Unless, of course, they're both standing at some distance and the...thingy...is activated remotely nearby (but not too nearby).

05-09-2010, 03:42 AM
A blast hot enough to turn sand into glass is hot enough to turn human bodies, including the bones, to ash. Unless your people are wearing protective asbestos (or asbestos-like fantasy substance) suits.

05-09-2010, 04:35 AM
I'm not sure the large bones would be ash. Cremation uses temperatures of just under 1,000 degrees C. After cremation, the bones remain and are run through a crusher to turn them into fragments. My understanding is that the bones are rather dry and brittle, but very recognizable before the crusher.

Glass making takes place at temperatures in excess of 1,500 degrees C. Although considerably hotter, I don't think it would completely destroy bones. I think larger bones such as the femur would survive relatively intact, although very, very dry and brittle. (Any moisture in the bone would be removed.) DNA would be gone, and because the fragments would have been blown over a wide area, I'm not sure anyone other than a specialist would recognize anything.

But other than very broadly speaking, no one has any experience with this, so you can fake it until you make it. Normally in a bomb explosion, people near the explosion end up in body parts, which may or may not be recognizable.

You might look up some of the descriptions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. An atomic explosion generates heat in the temperature range you're talking about or higher.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

05-09-2010, 01:25 PM
Lightening will turn sand to glass. And it can hit people too, alot of whom survive.

It's up to you.