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Reddit user ucallmebardo claims his friend spent 10 days in the hospital with second and third degree burns after his phone “exploded” in his pocket, according to an r/WTF thread.
Ucallmebardo has not substantiated the claim beyond posting additional photos of his friend’s leg and citing a similar incident last year, despite repeated requests from Reddit users to see the iPhone. In follow-up posts to the thread, ucallmebardo said he was waiting to receive images of the phone from his stricken pal.
Warning: This is gross and probably NSFW, unless you work at a fire station or a hospital. Here are the burns the friend allegedly received from his iPhone. (Editor’s note: The original photo has been taken down; this is a screenshot we had of it.)
While the authenticity of this claim remains in doubt, it is certainly plausible, given that there have been multiple documented cases of iPhones catching fire in users’ pockets. Last February, an eigth grader’s iPhone caused minor injuries and burned holes in her pants after she sat down with the phone in her back pocket. In 2013, a Chinese iPhone 5 user said she was left with a scratched eye after her phone exploded during a 40-minute call.
Possible explanations for these types of incidents include overheating, over-charging, and applying excess pressure to the device. It is worth noting, however, that these accidents remain extremely rare, affecting perhaps hundreds of the several hundred million iPhones in use throughout the world.
But that probably isn’t helping ucallmebardo’s friend feel any better right now.
Photo via Luke,Ma/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Alex La Ferla is a writer, artist, and architect living and working in New York City. His work for the Daily Dot focused on internet culture.