Blood Squirt
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Blood Squirt
Three jets of blood squirt from the neck of self-decapitated Hindu goddess Chinnamasta

Blood squirt (blood spurt, blood spray, blood gush, or blood jet) is the effect when an artery, a blood vessel in the alive human body (or other organism's body) is ruptured. Blood pressure causes the blood to bleed out at a rapid, intermittent rate in a spray or jet, coinciding with the pulse, rather than the slower, but steady flow of venous bleeding. Also known as arterial bleeding, arterial spurting, or arterial gushing, the amount of blood loss can be copious, occur very rapidly,[1] and can lead to death.


In cut carotid arteries with 100 mL of blood through the heart at each beat (at 65 beats a minute), a completely severed artery will spurt blood for about 30 seconds and the blood will not spurt much higher than the human head. If the artery is just nicked, on the other hand, the blood will spurt longer but will be coming out under pressure and spraying much further.[2]

To prevent hand ischemia, there is a "squirt test" that involves squirting blood from the radial artery, which is used in intraoperative assessment of collateral arm blood flow before radial artery harvest.[3] This is more commonly called "Allen's test" by microvascular surgeons, and is used before harvesting radial artery based free tissue transfers (cf Allen's test).

In 1933, a murder trial prompted a testimony from Dr. Clement Harrisse Arnold about how far blood could spurt from the neck: 6 in (15 cm) vertically and 18 in (46 cm) laterally.[4]


Chinnamasta, a self-decapitated Hindu goddess, is depicted holding her head with three jets of blood spurting out of her bleeding neck, which are drunk by her severed head and two attendants. Saint Miliau, a Christian martyr killed c. 6th century AD, is sometimes represented holding his severed head, as in the retable of the Passion of the Christ at Lampaul-Guimiliau, where blood gushes from his neck.

Insects and animals

Some animals deliberately autohaemorrhage or squirt blood as a defense mechanism. Armored crickets, which are native to Namibia, South Africa, and Botswana, drive away predators by spewing vomit and spurting hemolymph (the mollusk and arthropod equivalent of blood) from under their legs and through slits in their exoskeleton. Katydids do it too, and in Germany the species has acquired the nickname "Blutspritzer", or "blood squirter". The regal horned lizard, too, uses the blood-spewing tactic, shooting the substance from a pocket near its eyes.[5]

One of the oriental rat flea mouth's two functions is to squirt partly digested blood into a bite.

In popular culture

Squirting blood is used as a visual effect in anime, cartoons, comic books, film (mostly horror - particularly slasher - and action), literature, television series (mostly horror and drama), theater[6] and video games.

Perhaps the earliest epic film to have explicit scenes of blood squirting, often filmed in slow motion, was Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969). It was rated R, then a new category, by the MPAA.

The Monty Python sketch Sam Peckinpah's "Salad Days" (1972) involved an orgy of blood gushing, in a parody of Peckinpah's gore-filled directorial style. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), King Arthur must cut off all four limbs of the Black Knight to pass by in a forest, as the Knight bleeds on him.

Cormac McCarthy's 1985 novel Blood Meridian, Or the Evening Redness in the West includes a scene in which one of the two Jacksons decapitates the other by a campfire, leading to a graphically described blood spurt.

In the movie National Lampoon's European Vacation, Clark Griswold hits a cyclist with his car. Blood spews out of the cyclist's hand as he points to give directions.

The 1991 film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country has a scene where a Klingon is shot ("phasered") in zero gravity. The blood that spurts out of the Klingon's wounds was created using computer generated imagery (CGI); the animators had to make sure that the blood floated in a convincing manner while still looking interesting and not too gory. The effects artist looked at NASA footage of floating water globules to match the physics of the blood particles.[7]

Video games can use a particle system to create blood squirt effects.[8] The blood-gushing special effects in Mortal Kombat (1992) engendered controversy which only served to boost its popularity.[9]

Conan O'Brien has his head first spiked and then bitten off by two kraken-like sea monsters in the SyFy film, Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda (2014); his head continues to squirt copious amounts of blood as it is tossed by volleyball players.[10][11]


The television series Dexter concerns the life of a blood spatter analysis specialist Dexter Morgan, who is a serial killer working for the Miami Police Department

The 2010 television series Spartacus: Blood and Sand has "geysers of blood [that] gush from the bodies of the newly dead", and "every blood spurt is filmed in slow motion and stop-action".[12]

See also


  1. ^ "U.S. Navy Standard First Aid Manual, Chapter 3 (online)". Retrieved 2003.
  2. ^ "How writers fill in all the gory details", Humphrey Evans, The Guardian, 22 July 2004, retrieved 17 March 2010
  3. ^ Intraoperative confirmation of ulnar collateral blood flow during radial artery harvesting using the "squirt test" Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Inderpaul Birdi and Andrew J. Ritchie of Papworth Hospital, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery at CTSNet, 2002
  4. ^ "Medicine: Blood Spurt", Time Magazine, 8 April 1935, retrieved 17 March 2010
  5. ^ "See It to Believe It: Animals Vomit, Spurt Blood to Thwart Predators", Allison Bond, Discover Magazine blog, 28 July 2009, retrieved 17 March 2010
  6. ^ USING STAGE BLOOD[permanent dead link], Russell Blackwood, Theatre Bay Area, retrieved 6 April 2010
  7. ^ Altman, Mark (April 1992). "Star Trek VI: the making of 'The Undiscovered Country'". Cinefantastique 22 (5): 24-55.
  8. ^ Building an Advanced Particle System, John Van Der Burg, Gamasutra, 23 June 2000, retrieved 6 April 2010
  9. ^ Beale, Lewis (1995-09-14). "'KOMBAT' GEARS DOWN THE MARTIAL-ARTS JUGGERNAUT PULLS ITS PUNCHES TO BRING A LASER LOLLAPALOOZA TO RADIO CITY". Daily News (New York). Archived from the original on 2010-03-11. Retrieved .
  10. ^ Ramisetti, Kirthana (July 24, 2014). "Conan O'Brien gets head bitten off in 'Sharktopus Vs. Pteracuda' cameo". Daily News. Retrieved 2014.
  11. ^ Locker, Melissa (July 24, 2014). "Conan O'Brien's Cameo in Sharktopus Vs Pteracuda Is Spectacular". Time. Retrieved 2014.
  12. ^ Starz' 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand,' starring Andy Whitfield, is orgy of sex, violence and swearing, David Hinckley, New York Daily News, 22 Jan 2010, retrieved 23 March 2010

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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