Everyone wants to know what happens when we die. While there’s nothing to ascertain what really happens when we die, we do have some accurate facts about death.
1. First burial
Humans first buried the dead at about 200,000 years ago. The first burial sites were found in Atapuerca (Spain) where fossils of 27 Homo heidelbergensis were found. The bodies were buried 14 feet deep. These were probably a neanderthal species.
2. Stages of decomposition after death
When the heart stops beating, the body begins to lose temperature and the muscles harden, in a process known as rigor mortis. It lasts upto to 48 hours.
The dead cells begin to break down. Enzymes and acids in our body begin dissolving the cells. This also allows bacteria and fungi to breed that further aid decomposition of body. The chemicals these microbes release have a very unpleasant odor. The body swells due to gases and fluids produced inside, which eventually rupture the skin and pour out.
Then the dehydration begins and body shrinks. This is the stage that makes it look as if nails and hair have grown. However, no cell growth takes place after death.
Eventually the body decomposes in a few months. The duration depends on the outside environment.
3. After death
Human body produces up to 452 chemical compounds after death. These include gases released from decomposition as well as gases released by microbes such as pustrecine and cadaverine.
4. LIving people who believe they are dead
In a disease called Cotard syndrome, living people believe they are dead. It’s a mental disorder additionally characterised by hallucinations, self harm, anxiety, hypochondria, and guilt.
5. Submission of dead to vultures
In India, the Zoroastrian community offers their dead to the vultures to eat instead of burying them.
6. How young and old die
Young people mostly die in road accidents. The natural death in aged people is most usually the result of a heart disease.
7. Corpses with erections
Male corpses sometimes have erections. This happens when they are died while lying on their chest or in case of death by hanging.
8. Some animals are immortal
These animals include jellyfish. The most famous immortal animal is the immortal jellyfish.
9. Corpses take longer to decompose today
This is because we are so full of preservatives we eat everyday in processed food.
10. Most famous suicide spot
Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge in China witnesses largest suicide attempts in the world.
11. The last sense that dies is the sense of hearing
As studied in the EEG, the last thing most people experience before they die is hearing.
12. Bad corpses
Because after death, the brain loses control of muscles, there’s a good chance the dead will empty their bladder or even ejaculate.
Four stages of death
There are four stages of decomposition after death –
Stage 1: Autolysis, in which enzymes start digesting the body itself,
Stage 2: Bloating, in which body produces fluids and gases causing the body to bloat to double the size .
Stage 3: Active decay, in which fluids leak out of our orifices and rupture the skin.
Stage 4: Skeletonization, in which all the complex organic compounds get broken down.