Chinese lanterns will probably kill us all

1 February 2010


Some say that they’re delightful to watch and they’re very fashionable among, let’s face it, knobheads, but Chinese lanterns are said to be causing death and destruction across the land.

The paper lanterns have bamboo and wire in them and house candles that are lit before being released into the sky by dimwits and bell ends who want to liven up their dull festive occasions without having to fork out for a clown or proper fireworks.

But farmers (who always tell the truth and don’t suffer from a persecution complex AT ALL) are reporting that once the lanterns land, they are causing the deaths of idiot cows who chew them, causing choking and internal injuries.

Pat Stanley, who breeds pedigree cattle near Coalville, Leicestershire, told BBC Radio 4's Farming Today: “They're made of a hoop of bamboo, which in itself is a very sharp piece of wood when it's broken, and then there's a crosspiece of wire. If we silage-make in any of these fields, this is all going to be chopped to pieces if we don't see it and find it. That's going to go into my silage clamp and next year I'm going to have dead cows.”

She added: “If you went fly-tipping rubbish in the countryside and somebody caught you doing it, you could be prosecuted. People can launch this rubbish into the air, it can cause tremendous damage and nobody knows where it's come from.”

Additionally, farmers are concerned that smouldering lanterns could cause crop fires and coast guards are mistaking the lanterns for distress flares, making them the biggest public menace since Alan Titchmarsh was given a daily show on ITV1.

Sky Lanterns, who make the wretched things have acknowledged the problem and say they’ll be producing a new wire-free version in the next month. Meanwhile, they are urging people to inform the coast guard if planning to launch the lanterns near the coast and to avoid launching them near dry crops.

Because people will really pay attention to that won’t they? People – idiots more like.


  • sy278
    STFU! They have been used for generations in china without all this hoopla. What a muppet!
  • Chris S.
    im going to attach a large hot air balloon to my dustbin and set it on fire, gonna be awesome.
  • Stu
    Radio 4? Farming today? Oh dear BW, your social life is looking grim...
  • Tom A.
    mmmmm. dead cows.
  • Angry S.
    Don't they have cows in China then? Pity the farmers don't eat them themselves and choke to death; miserable whining gits. Is there such a thing as a happy farmer. ever?
  • Brian
    Hi, my name is Brian. Where can i purchase these Chinese lanterns? Thanks
  • Colin
    I have been waiting for the Daily Mail 'Sky Lanterns murder Children' story, but the cows! I missed that one.
  • Idon'twantanyofthoseThankyou!
    Posted by Colin | February 2nd, 2010 at 12:19 am: "I have been waiting for the Daily Mail ‘Sky Lanterns murder Children’ story, but the cows! I missed that one." Actually, that would be ‘Sky Lanterns murder Children’, Daily Mail headline, page 1. Daily Mail Readers Offer: Sky Lanterns, Two For £10 (plus £15 p + p), Daily Mail, page 17.
  • Klingelton
    sky lanterns cause cancer, aids and other life preventing illnesses.
  • sy278
    "Posted by Klingelton | February 2nd, 2010 at 11:31 am sky lanterns cause cancer, aids and other life preventing illnesses." Evidence?
  • James C.
    Hi, My company The Glow Company run the site CHINESE LANTERNS & I've just been 'interviewed' for the response to this mornings Farming Today that will air tomorrow. Ann was very nice 'off air' but live she kind of got nasty! Well it wasnt too bad. Anynhow - my take on this situation in brief... There has been a lot of drama about the lanterns and very few incidents. I estimate 500,000 to 1,000,000 lanterns were used in the UK in 2009. One cow is claimed to have died last December. No fires reported. I think its a question of balance. After looking at changing the wire since late 2008 our new wire free design will replace the existing model in around 8-12 weeks time. These will be all natural fibres & I cant see any real issues with livestock & they will biodegrade quicker. Used as per the instructions there is no risk of fire - the fuel cell burns through & the lanterns drift to the ground - by which time there is no ignition I think there are many products that are more harmful from household bleach to easy to purchase air rifles etc (what happens to fireworks that contain residues & plastic?) and we have to get them into perspective - as I said in the interview that although the concerns of the product may need to be addressed an outright ban is akin to the cry of witchcraft in the middle ages. I can see life wont be too exciting in a few years!
  • Mr G.
    I was going to say "fireworks" - another fiendish Chinese invention. In fact the combination of dangers from fireworks and sky lanterns for the past few thousand years would explain why China is so dreadfully depopulated these days. Also, as the HSBC advert informs us, the Chinese send up sky lanterns every New Year adorned with their wishes, as they believe this brings prosperity. That would explain why those few scarred Chinese peasants who have survived the airborne bombardment from incandescent fireworks and bits of bamboo framework are so phenomenally rich and ecstatically happy. Or am I thinking of some other China?
  • Rebuilding A.
    [...] Chinese lanterns will probably kill us all | BitterWallet [...]
  • Demitri
    The wire free sky lanterns are much more dangerous that the traditional ones with bamboo frame and thin cross wires, as they contain fibre glass string. Fibre glass not only takes longer to biodegrade than thin metal wire it is lethal if digested. It can also be very dangerous if only lighly handled due to the spores it releases into the air similar to asbestos.
  • Tracie
  • Carl J.
    I am setting up a new site to sell Chinese Lanterns, before I even considered entering into the market I did look at articles on the subject with the cow and also the animal who died from being spooked by one, I have contacted a supplier who intends to produce wireless Lanterns, I am now looking into the Fibreglass claim from Tracie, I agree with James from the Glow Company, realistically there needs to be a measure of how products can cause natural dangers, if a case similar to what happened in Germany where a house got burnt down by one, then I think the market would be in trouble but until then lets not put a Ball around the countries people.
  • thelanternkid
    i cant wait for it to get dark tonight im going to set 100 up in sky because i must be ( dimwit / bell end/ knob head, with a boring life and im only doing it to cheer up my dull life) !!!!!!!!!!!! what a fcukin tosser people set laterns up for all sorts of reasons ie the reason ive started doing it is on key dates ,enough info i think thats my bussiness . people that bad mouth and type abusive words aimed at others ,wouldnt have any teeth in there head if said face to face.
  • Toby C.
    uck-fay ou-yay.
  • eloise
    My dad was an immigrant from POLAND IN THE 1930'S as a a young child . He was the smartest person I have ever known. He enlistested in the Navy after Pearl Harbor & worked for the USAF after that for his whole life. When he passed away ,his final request was to be buried at PUNCHBOWL NATIONAL CEMTETARY IN OAHU, HI. We also lit a chinese lantern with some of his ashes over Mt. Halieakuli on Maui... as per his request. It was as beautiful of an event as you can imagine. If you are all "fired up" OVER THE ENVIRONMENT, CHECK OUT BP OIL COMPANY, THE SALARY OF THE CEO LAST YEAR , AND THE SCUMBAG MANAGEMENT WHO HAVE NO SOUL BEFORE YOU FIND FAULT WITH ANYONE ELSE.....COM
  • Wolfie S.
    Love it! First time i've read an article and all the following posts. pissed me sen at the responses esp. ref Daily Mail Pg 17 offer. As for me i say enjoy life. Let off as many as you can i know i will! when my kids say daddy can i let one more off please? Will i be thinking about the cows or the Aston Martin driving farmers? I don't think so. Saved site in my favourites!
  • China t.
    If you're still on the fence: grab your favorite earphones, head down to a Best Buy and ask to plug them into a Zune then an iPod and see which one sounds better to you, and which interface makes you smile more. Then you'll know which is right for you. Beijing Coach Tour Beijing Day Tour Tibet Tour
  • Monica
    This is so ignorant/narrowed minded piece of ___ I've ever read. Maybe instead of speaking down upon what the Chinese do with their festival You should encourage them to use different materials. And it is not what you call "dull" There is a reason why they use lanterns and different beliefs/religion on why they do certain things. And if anything they have the best kinds of festivals.. also because they invented Fireworks.. Used for ceremonies and celebrations.. What is it used for in the United States? For football games.. 4th of July.. Are you kidding me? Couldn't find another exciting way to celebrate your freedom? And had to use someone else's idea. And if your so worried about cows dying.. Maybe its not from Chinese lanterns.. Maybe it from how farmers abuse them and use them for food.
  • littlek
    they should be banned!we had one that landed on our property and set it alight,so all the knobheads that set them off lets hope next time its your property.
  • Fay
    I last a goat kid who died just before Christmas as a result of a small piece of wire puncturing her gullet and piercing her Aorta. We were able to identify this wire as coming from a Chinese Lantern which probable landed in the hay field and the wire was then mixed into the hay. The goat would have not noticed she had wire in her hay until it stuck in her throat. She died a painful and traumatic death just because some silly, thoughtless person wanted five minutes of fun. These things must be banned
  • Mike
    There are wire free lanterns available now.. yes they still have a bamboo frame (do cows like bamboo? given the choice i'm sure they'd eat grass or polos). Anyway, you can get them at eco chinese lanterns.
  • john
    Fay, lets face it.. goats eat anything. They dont care whether it will kill them or whether it tastes good. I'm not in favour if sky lanterns to be honest, but if the goat hadnt eaten that it would have been something else...
  • don
    Germany has banned them because a boy died in a house fire caused by a Chinese lantern (proving that not even metal or bamboo free ones are safe) . To those of you who still don't want these wretched things banned then I suggest you Google Cael Jones Wrexham to see what a Chinese lantern did to this poor boy's face. Lots of cattle have died really painful deaths because of these wretched things. A great part of China is rural, so they can cope with these dangerous paper fire hazards. Britain is very populated. Fields and people's sheds have caught fire because of these lanterns. How soon will it be before an innocent child dies in this country too because of people's selfishness and gross stupidity.

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