People who have been near a lot of radiation report that they see an X-Ray of their bones with their own eyes. Why does this happen?

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I was just watching a documentary on soldiers who witnessed atomic bombs from only a couple of km’s away and all of them reported that even with their eyes closed, they could see an X-Ray of their bones.

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Source: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FokopVKMgdU&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=TheNewYorkTimes](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FokopVKMgdU&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=TheNewYorkTimes)

In: Physics

if you press a flashlight into your palm you can see the imprint of your bones since light can pass through the skin and meat but not the bones themselves so they cast a shadow. just imagine that but from something brighter than the sun

it’s not an X-ray, it’s just light passing through the flesh of the arms and the eyelids but leaving dark shadows where the bones are.

it’s the same way the japanese bombs left human shadows. the flash of UV light was strong enough to discolor walls but couldn’t pass through people so they left dark imprints where the flash didn’t touch the wall.

I just watched that. It was very interesting. What they’re describing starting around 4:00 is that the light from the bomb was so bright that they could see their bones. It didn’t sound to me like they had their eyes closed when they saw that. They were talking about separate moments, as with light so bright, at some point they closed their eyes, but before they did so, they saw the skeletons, basically because the light was not completely blocked by their flesh but was blocked by their bones (much like if you put a flashlight against your finger, the finger will light up like you can see inside it).

X-ray is impossible because our eyes don’t detect those wavelengths. It could be an optical thing like above, or just them imagining things.

Medical physicist here (physicist dealing with radiology, radiation, etc):

So, there is *no proof* that this phenomenon actually occurs. If you shine something very bright against your fingers, you will see that the periphery of your fingers will be brighter than the middle part. This is *not* because bone is in the way. Rather, there is just more material in general in the way. When visible light hits human tissue, it immediately scatters in all directions. No matter how intense the light is, the relative percentage of scattered light versus unscattered light, will not change. Visible light simply cannot penetrate deep enough into human tissue to form images of bone.

So it is physically impossible to see bones using visible light. More likely, the soldiers reported seeing their bones just saw the same phenomenon anyone can see shining a torch through their fingers (i.e. not bone). Since it’s all based on witness reports, it makes sense that it has been misinterpreted.

If we could use visible light to see bones, we would not need dangerous x-ray machines.