Daniel Dourvaris, writing at Medium:

One afternoon as I was lying on my bed browsing the internet, my MacBook Pro suddenly turned off.

One afternoon is pretty generic. Which afternoon? You’re just now writing about it? What prompted you now, as opposed to pecking this out on your phone as soon as it occurred? Is this story time, or cataloging an actual event that really happened? Better yet, why didn’t you tweet about it on your Twitter account that you haven’t touched since 2011? Actually, your Stack Overflow and Github are pretty quiet too. You’re not the sort of person who writes on the web much, are you? Maybe your quietness explains the weirdness of this?

I turned it back on and within a few seconds there was weird hissing sound, followed by white smoke and thin flames coming out of from the back. […]


After I had opened up all the windows in the house and cleared out the smoke, I removed the back plate to observe the damage and hopefully see if the hard disk had survived.

Wait. You cleared out the smoke and then how long did you wait? This makes it sound like you opened the laptop immediately after you opened the windows, and yet you “had to let it drop” because it was so hot and it was “almost an hour” before it cooled down. Which is it?

There’s no denying that the pictures in this article are real. But I’m having a hard time understanding how these pictures would look differently if the fire had been started externally, and a few things don’t make sense to me.1 There’s no mention of contacting Apple about this despite the numerous reader comments inquiring about it. Not only would not contacting Apple be very unnatural, it’d also be strange to say nothing about it in this article, and yet such is the case. And this whole thing is suspiciously close to last week’s iPhone explosion, as if it’s riding on its popularity wave. Also it’s curious that he was able to remove the backplate on his own. The whole thing’s lacking detail.

Maybe this story is completely real, but it’s not doing a very good job persuading me.2 Hat tip to Daring Fireball for the link.

Update: this story seems genuine after all.

  1. There have been many alleged occurrences of spontaneous human combustion but all of them have external explanations that are much more plausible. Same deal here? ↩︎
  2. An story as odd as this means one of two things: either someone’s a bad liar, or the truth is stranger than fiction and needs no explanation. I’m not ruling out the latter, but I’m not yet sold on it as the sole possibility either. ↩︎