Thursday, April 28, 2005

As the body dies...

I find the following description to be grotesquely fascinating, as I read about "death" in wikipedia. I really have to share it with you folks... *snicker*

Physiological consequences of human death

For the human body, the physiological consequences of death follow a recognized sequence through early changes into bloating, then decay to changes after decay and finally skeletal remains.

The changes in the immediate post-death stage have received the most attention for two reasons - firstly it is the stage mostly likely to be seen by the living and secondly because of the research of forensics in potential crimes.

Soon after death (15 to 120 minutes depending on various factors) the body begins to cool (algor mortis), becomes pallid (pallor mortis), and internal sphincter muscles relax leading to the release of urine, feces, and stomach contents if the body is moved. The blood moves to pool in the lowest parts of the body, livor mortis (dependent lividity), within thirty minutes and then begins to coagulate. The body experiences muscle stiffening, rigor mortis, which peaks at around twelve hours after death and is gone in another twenty-four, depending on temperature. Within a day the body starts to show signs of decomposition (decay), both autolytic changes and from 'attacking' organisms - bacteria, fungi, insects, mammalian scavengers, etc. Internally the body structures begin to collapse, the skin loses integration with the underlying tissues, and bacterial action creates gases which cause bloating and swelling. The rate of decay is enormously variable; a body can be reduced to skeletal remains in days, or remain largely intact for thousands of years.

In most cultures, before the onset of significant decay, the body is ritually disposed of, usually either cremated or deposited in a tomb, often a hole in the earth called a grave, but also in a sarcophagus, a crypt, sepulchre, or ossuary, a mound or barrow, or endlessly monumental surface structures, a mausoleum such as the Taj Mahal. In certain cultures efforts are made to retard the decay processes before burial, mummification or embalming. This happens during or after a funeral ceremony. Many funeral customs exist in different cultures.

A new alternative is "ecological burial": this involves subsequently deep-freezing, pulverisation by vibration, freeze-drying, removing metals, and burying the resulting powder, which has 30% of the body mass. [1] (

Graves are usually grouped together in a plot of land called a "cemetery" or a "graveyard" and can arranged by a funeral home or undertaker or by a church.

(dang... I wanna insert the word "morbid" somewhere in this post, but couldn't find a place for it. Oh wait a minute... hey I did put it in! yayy! *another cheap snicker*)


Blogger brown-eyed girl said...


2:24 AM, April 29, 2005  
Blogger haya_shiloh said...

thanks... i aim to please :B.

9:08 PM, April 30, 2005  

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