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  #1  
Old 16 May 2007, 02:55 PM
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Icon81 Child decapitated by ceiling fan

Comment: Someone on a forum I'm on posted about a man who carried his
child on his shoulders into McDonalds "a few years back" and the son was
decapitated from the ceiling fan. Her mother "saw it in the news",
apparently.

This sounds like a definite urban legend, but I can't find anything about
it on the web.
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  #2  
Old 16 May 2007, 02:55 PM
Doug4.7
 
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Teacher

Mythbusters.....
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  #3  
Old 16 May 2007, 02:56 PM
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It was featured in an episode of mythbusters. They were working with an adult jumping into the plane of the fan blades, but it was so busted, I wouldn't doubt it is impossible for a child to lose a head that way as well.
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  #4  
Old 16 May 2007, 03:02 PM
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It wouldn't be that easy to do, I'd imagine. I mean, the kid's head isn't gonna get cleanly sliced off by a ceiling fan. It would have to be powerful and sharp and like, made to double as something that chops peoples' heads off.
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  #5  
Old 16 May 2007, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mags View Post
It was featured in an episode of mythbusters. They were working with an adult jumping into the plane of the fan blades, but it was so busted, I wouldn't doubt it is impossible for a child to lose a head that way as well.
Exactly. Te claim they made was that decapitation was not an easy enough task that the fans were not powerful enough to do the task. Deep cut or bad bruising, maybe. Decapitation.. hardly.
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  #6  
Old 16 May 2007, 03:45 PM
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Actually DD did a mythbusters on this subject by accident. Her father had lifted her up with out thinking of the low hanging ceiling fan. End result crying slightly bruised toddler, ticked off mother and very embarrased father.
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  #7  
Old 16 May 2007, 07:37 PM
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A friend of the family was out partying with her girlfriends and decided that dancing on the table was an excellent idea. She got hit in the head by the ceiling fan. There was bruising and embarrassment; especially since she made the mistake of telling us. We didn't let her live it down.

But her head was still attached.
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  #8  
Old 21 May 2007, 11:04 PM
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If the out-the-bus-window can't decapitate someone there's no way a ceiling fan could. It's theoretically possible that a particularly strong ceiling fan could have given a kid a nasty enough blow to kill them (not necessarily probable). Perhaps something like that did occur, and like the bus legend people's mental images added the decapitation. It's one theory on this could happen, though I wouldn't be the least surprised if a ceiling fan has never killed anyone...

...without falling on them
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  #9  
Old 21 May 2007, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLS View Post
Actually DD did a mythbusters on this subject by accident. Her father had lifted her up with out thinking of the low hanging ceiling fan. End result crying slightly bruised toddler, ticked off mother and very embarrased father.
And dust everywhere. Don't forget that!

My daughter ended up with a weird, lumpy bruise right above her eyebrow from her incident.
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  #10  
Old 22 May 2007, 06:52 AM
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I'm tall enough that when I raise my arms to put a shirt on in my bedroom that I sometimes jam my hand in the ceiling fan.

It really hurts.

But, I still have my hands.

Quote:
It would have to be powerful and sharp and like, made to double as something that chops peoples' heads off.
Strapping chainsaws to a ceiling fan might work.
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  #11  
Old 22 May 2007, 02:13 PM
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Frying Pan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreams of Thinking Machines View Post
I'm tall enough that when I raise my arms to put a shirt on in my bedroom that I sometimes jam my hand in the ceiling fan.
Been there, done that, still got two hands and 10 complete fingers.
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  #12  
Old 24 May 2007, 07:49 PM
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In moving out of our apartment earlier this month, I hit the ceiling fan with the tall scheffelera (sp??) plant several times. If a fan can't even cut through a plant stalk, it's never going to cut off a human head!
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  #13  
Old 24 May 2007, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantei Kid View Post
If the out-the-bus-window can't decapitate someone there's no way a ceiling fan could. It's theoretically possible that a particularly strong ceiling fan could have given a kid a nasty enough blow to kill them (not necessarily probable). Perhaps something like that did occur, and like the bus legend people's mental images added the decapitation. It's one theory on this could happen, though I wouldn't be the least surprised if a ceiling fan has never killed anyone...

...without falling on them

Slight hijack here . . .

No one on a school bus may have ever been decapitated, but people riding in cars have. Atlanta had a grisly event happen a couple of years back when a drunk driver's friend was decapitated by a phone pole wire as he hung out the window. The driver was so out of it he kept driving home and went to bed without realizing what had happened.

As for ceiling fans, I'm sure the designers of the fans know that some houses have very low ceilings and made sure the fans wouldn't cause real injury. My brother's head brushes the ceiling fan in our mountain cabin.

We still have some old metal bladed fans around. I don't think I'd risk sticking a finger in one of those!
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  #14  
Old 24 May 2007, 09:15 PM
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Nope, I just turned my ceiling fan onto full and stuck my fingers into the blades. Okay I was bored. As I suspected I still have all my fingers, no lacerations or broken bones, just a slight tingling sensation, that's quickly fading. The fan just stopped when it hit my fingers. Okay it fought me for two or three revolutions, then gave up, knowing it was beaten.

I suspect the motor really only provides enough energy to turn the blades and not much more - any obstruction would bring it to a halt.

Maybe if the fan blades were ground razor sharp there wou;d be some damage, but I can't envisage decapitation.

My experiment of course does not meet any stringent scientific criteria.
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  #15  
Old 24 May 2007, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Nope, I just turned my ceiling fan onto full and stuck my fingers into the blades. Okay I was bored. As I suspected I still have all my fingers, no lacerations or broken bones, just a slight tingling sensation, that's quickly fading. The fan just stopped when it hit my fingers. Okay it fought me for two or three revolutions, then gave up, knowing it was beaten.

I suspect the motor really only provides enough energy to turn the blades and not much more - any obstruction would bring it to a halt.

Maybe if the fan blades were ground razor sharp there wou;d be some damage, but I can't envisage decapitation.

My experiment of course does not meet any stringent scientific criteria.
We appreciate your endeavors in the name of scientific experimentation, but please do not test the head-out-the-car-window scenario!
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  #16  
Old 25 May 2007, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogpond View Post
Slight hijack here . . .

No one on a school bus may have ever been decapitated, but people riding in cars have. Atlanta had a grisly event happen a couple of years back when a drunk driver's friend was decapitated by a phone pole wire as he hung out the window. The driver was so out of it he kept driving home and went to bed without realizing what had happened.

As for ceiling fans, I'm sure the designers of the fans know that some houses have very low ceilings and made sure the fans wouldn't cause real injury. My brother's head brushes the ceiling fan in our mountain cabin.

We still have some old metal bladed fans around. I don't think I'd risk sticking a finger in one of those!
Wow, there really are reputable accounts of that happening. Well, color me surprised. I guess a goodly amount of speed and a wire in the right place can produce a beheading where a roadsign and wimpy fan motor fail.
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  #17  
Old 25 May 2007, 10:37 AM
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What do you know... There's a Mythbusters video on Youtube.
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  #18  
Old 25 May 2007, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreams of Thinking Machines View Post

Strapping chainsaws to a ceiling fan might work.
Even then I'd only expect the chainsaw to go about a third the way through before it got jammed.

Lazerus the 'I got paid to chase people with a chainsaw' duck.
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  #19  
Old 25 May 2007, 06:20 PM
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My daughter was hit in head with a ceiling fan. She was 5 and playing it a friends house. Apparently the child had bunkbeds in his bedroom and when she attempted to stand on the top bunk WHACK!!

She was hardly scalped- 4 stitches later, she was almost good as new.
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  #20  
Old 15 June 2007, 03:12 PM
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This topic reminds me of an episode of Scrubs where Turk was trying to stick his hand in a ceiling fan while dodging the blades. He was doing really good at a low speed and then told J.D to turn it higher, next shot you see Turk with a cast on his arm. LoL! But no, I don't think that you could be decapitated by a fan.
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