How real were the injuries sustained by Marv and Harry in Home Alone? #medicine #science

Have you seen the classic Holiday movie Home Alone? If so, you may have wondered about the injuries sustained by the two burglars, Marv and Harry, during the hilarious and painful home invasion. FINALLY we have some answers – a doctor has weighed in on the pranks, and the resulting injuries! Lauren Hansen, writing for the Week, goes through the medical side of Home Alone!

Can a man really be hit square in the face with a steam iron and walk away unfazed? What kind of permanent physical damage would a blow torch to the head really do? To answer these questions and officially dissolveHome Alone‘s Hollywood magic, I spoke with my friend Dr. Ryan St. Clair of the Weill Cornell Medical College. Enjoy.

Here is my favorite injury as an example, definitely check out Hansen’s article for the rundown of other injuries!!

The injury: A blowtorch to the scalp

The set-up: Unable to get through the front door, Harry returns to the back. He kicks his foot through the doggy door to disarm a potential BB gun threat, delicately taps at the doorknob to test its temperature, and, finding it cool, opens the back door — only to unknowingly arm a blowtorch that fires at the top of his head.

The doctor’s diagnosis: “Harry has an interesting reaction to having a lit blowtorch aimed directly at his scalp. Rather than remove himself from danger, he keeps the top of his skull directly in the line of fire for about seven seconds. What was likely a simple second-degree skin burn is now a full thickness burn likely to cause necrosis of the calavarium (skull bone).” That means the skin and bone tissue on Harry’s skull will be so damaged and rotted that his skull bone is essentially dying and will likely require a transplant.

Today is World Octopus Day!!

Today, October 8th, is World Octopus Day! Octopus have been around for a long long time, so why do we need an international octopus day?

Right now more than 50,000 tons of octopus are caught each year. And scientists still have little idea how many octopuses are out there in the oceans—or even how to go about measuring them. Octopuses, being asocial animals, don’t swim in schools that can be tracked and measured. And researchers are only just now devising ways to estimate an octopus’s age, as various species—and even individual populations in different environments—grow at various rates and live for anywhere from months to several years. And assessing populations accurately demands this sort of basic info.

So on this International Octopus Day, take a little time to remember these incredible eight-armed animals out in the oceans, quietly catching crabsmasquerading as other animals and occasionally even using tools.

And here is a nice infographic from!