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So in a webtoon that I am drawing/writing everyone is born with 1 or 2 psychic abilities that can range anywhere from teleportation, sensory manipulation, thermal conductivity, elemental kinesis abilities, etc.

And everyone’s ability is explained via science, some of it real and some of it exaggerated but still mostly accurate, for example an electrokinetesis in my story generates the electricity they control by amplifying the electrical current that is constantly produced from our cells and then discharging it.

Heat works the same way as our cells naturally produce heat and I could have fire users also amplify the heat in their body to generate flames but fire requires a fuel source to burn and I can’t think of any way that a person might be able to use fire without changing how human biology would work in my story, unless I make it so that fire users need to carry around a fuel source of some kind which could be cool in some situations but put them at a massively unbalanced disadvantage in most situations.

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    $\begingroup$ Do not directly produce fire. Instead generate sufficient heat to cause combustion, $\endgroup$ – CWallach Feb 24 at 22:14
  • $\begingroup$ Hi shikinoyume, I refer you to this related answer: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/139892/… No self promotion intended. $\endgroup$ – Confounded by beige fish. Feb 24 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ Hi welcome also note that there are some reports of spontaneous human combustion, so I think you need to be more specific what you are looking for ;D $\endgroup$ – user6760 Feb 25 at 3:02
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Pyroflatulence

Well you did ask. And it is a real thing.

Pyroflatulence or flatus ignition, is the practice of igniting the gases produced by human flatulence, often producing a flame of a blue hue, hence the act being known colloquially as a "blue angel", "blue dart", or in Australia, a "blue flame". The fact that flatus is flammable, and the actual combustion of it through this practice, gives rise to much humorous derivation. Other colors of flame such as orange and yellow are possible with the color dependent on the mixture of gases formed in the colon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fart_lighting

Depending on the individual's gut bacteria, farts can contain large quantities of hydrogen and methane, both of which are highly flammable.

You can of course find many examples of this on YouTube.


How can this be activated?

We know that in times of fear or stress, people are much more likely to fart. This would make the weapon available at exactly the right moment. Just carry a pocket lighter. Perhaps there is some evolutionary adaptation that causes a spark to light the fart.

Ignition

Inspired by @Agrajag to explain the spark generating method. I suggest that these people are also contortionists and can create the spark by gnashing their teeth together. They can be identified by their lack of eyebrows.


How this ability evolved

There was once a contortionist who worked at a circus. She was attempting a particularly difficult trick it involved a position that I'll let the reader imagine as it's too difficult to describe. Unfortunately she found an attack of wind coming on. Gritting her teeth she tried to avoid this but the result was worse than anything she could have imagined. The teeth grinding coincided with a tremendous f@rt.

The resulting burst of flame caused such a reaction from the audience that the ringmaster asked her to keep in her act. She did and the crowds flocked to see this amazing phenomenon. The contortionist eventually married a man who suffered from serious wind and between them they established a dynasty of f@rting contortionists. Initially this family specialised in circus but there came a time when one of the family developed a martial art based on the ability. From that point there was no stopping them.

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    $\begingroup$ Whence spark? Flint butcheeks? $\endgroup$ – Confounded by beige fish. Feb 24 at 22:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Agrajag - That makes sense. Alternatively these people are also contortionists and can create the spark by gnashing their teeth together. I think they would be identifiable by their lack of eyebrows. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Feb 24 at 22:38
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    $\begingroup$ I'm going to come back in 47h to give this one a bounty. $\endgroup$ – Renan Feb 24 at 22:40
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    $\begingroup$ I had to buttress this answer with an upvote. Nobody should have the cheek to do otherwise. $\endgroup$ – nullpointer Feb 25 at 8:04
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A bombardier beetle creates a toxic spray by mixing two fluids into a single orifice. The fluids are chemically relatively inert when kept separated but produce a lot of heat when mixed. With only a bit of imagination, you could have a human producing a similar pair of chemicals that spontaneously ignite when mixed. Highly modified salivary ducts and a somewhat fire-proof mouth lining could then let them spit fire.

But I can't imagine it would be terribly efficient. Maybe good enough to light a cigarette, or give someone a fright, but hardly suitable for incinerating enemies.

One issue would be volume of fluid. A salivary duct produces only fractions of a ml per second, so in order to produce a significant volume of 'fire' the fire-starter would need some sort of internal bladders to store the stuff until they were ready to spit. Maybe mammary ducts would be more appropriate in that case...

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  • $\begingroup$ You may not incinerate enemies with this ability alone, but you may light a molotov with that. $\endgroup$ – Renan Feb 24 at 22:39
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It could be explained by Ketosis. Ketosis is a state that your body enters when you deprive yourself of carbs (less than 20g a day is optimum), the body then begins to burn fat to produce ketones.

Since burnt fat exits the body through the lungs, your character could exhale large amounts of the fat that could be ignited through a means of spark or a ignition point.

EDIT: The Grimm wesen Daemonfeuer uses a process similar, where it eats a fat-rich, low-carb diet, the body over produces gastric acid which spills into the lungs allowing it to cough up a liquid acetone which is ignited by the gastric juices.

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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "burnt fat"...? The fat is broken down and used as fuel, not literally burnt, and the expression of burning fat/carbs/calories is not unique to ketosis. Further, the broken down fat it exits the lungs as Co2, which is rather non-flammable... $\endgroup$ – Spoki0 Feb 25 at 9:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Spoki0 However, liquid fat is flammable, as tallow was used for Candles long before wax was. $\endgroup$ – Chronocidal Feb 25 at 13:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Chronocidal True, but that is not what is being stated here. $\endgroup$ – Spoki0 Feb 25 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Spoki0 Really, we don't burn fat? How do we keep the Nose Pixies from freezing to death in our nasal cavities? No we don't "burn" fat in the sense that there is combustion, we break it down as you have said; which in layman's terms is "burning fat". Maybe the characters use a form of modified ketosis (which is a very efficient way of "burning fat"), to produce a form of liquid fat and acetone in their lungs that they can exhale and ignite? $\endgroup$ – Lucas A. Feb 25 at 23:20
  • $\begingroup$ Your answer do state "burnt fat exits the body through the lungs", so yes, it had to be clarified... The reason ketosis is efficient for burning fat is because it has access to your stored fat, while you normally don't. It doesn't inherently relate to what's in your stomach at the time. Breaking down fat to liquid fat would be horribly inefficient ketosis, it's not really broken down after all. Since the liquid fat would reach your lungs through your blood stream, you'd give high blood "cholesterol" a new meaning. Of course, you could explain it that way, but ketosis doesn't really explain it. $\endgroup$ – Spoki0 Feb 26 at 6:15
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Skin that produces flammable oil whilst the skin itself is inflammable. Allowing the wielder to build up oil in their hand and ignite it - fireball

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  • $\begingroup$ No need to make the skin specially non-flammable (n.b. inflammable means it can be inflamed that is, set on fire!) - if you search online you will find videos of people dousing their skin in petrol or oils and setting fire to it without burning themselves. It just needs to have a slight increase to heat-resistance for safety/comfort $\endgroup$ – Chronocidal Feb 25 at 13:47
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Your question made me think of wizards producing flames from their hands or fingers (like a lighter but using fingers).

Burning Hands

It would require some changes to the biology of the body of those capable of producing fire. Very much like sweating, fire-born people would produce a flammable substance from glands in their hands. A spark from their flint and steel enriched fingernails will light the substance, creating a steady, small flame until their glands are exhausted.

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If you were willing to change biology, you could add a flammable component to sweat glands, maybe have them emit a flammable gas.

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