THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO YOUR BODY AFTER YOU DIE
Added on: 4th Aug 2016
THE HEART STOPS BEATING AND BLOOD POOLS
The moment the heart stops beating is what doctors officially
regard as the time of death. Once it stops, the rest of the
body begins to die, albeit at different rates. With the heart no
longer pumping, the first thing to happen in the process
of death is that our blood stops flowing and pools
wherever it is in our veins and arteries.
OUR BODIES CHANGE COLOUR
With our blood suddenly non-mobile, our bodies begin to change
colour. Part of our bodies change to purplish-red or
bluish-purple because the blood settles, due to gravity,
in the lowest part of our bodies. Other parts turn deathly
pale, since the blood (reduced haemoglobin, to be exact)
is less concentrated or more drained in those areas.
LIVOR MORTIS HELPS FORENSICS SOLVE CASES
Forensic investigators can use this phenomenon, known as
livor mortis, to tell if a body has been moved since death
because after death our blood congeals in our blood vessels,
like a layer of fat which congeals on top of homemade
stock or fried foods.
ALGOR MORTIS COOLS THE BODY TEMPERATURE
The second most popular form of mortis, algor mortis is next
thing that happens to our bodies when we die. Known as
“death chill”, our bodies lose their 98.6°F (37°C) warmth and
slowly acclimate to the ambient room temperature, losing
about 1.5°F (0.8°C) per hour.
RIGOR MORTIS SETS IN
The better-known rigor mortis does not happen until a few hours
after the moment of death. The process starts with the eyelids
and neck muscles, followed by the entire body, stiffening up
due to the depletion of ATP (adenosine triphosphate): the
chemical responsible for relaxing muscle fibres after a contraction.
OUR BODIES CAN TWITCH
In what must have scared earlier peoples and made them believe
in the undead, our bodies can twitch and flex for hours after
death. As muscle tissues die, they can contract. If enough
contract, a visible muscle twitch or reflex can be seen, making
it seem like the corpse is trying to regain consciousness.
THE SKIN ON OUR FACE FLATTENS OUT
In a bizarre perk for Botox-loving people everywhere, our faces
get an immediate free-injection of Botox when we die.
Well, not exactly Botox, but since our muscles are no longer
contracting, the wrinkles on our faces mostly disappear.
OUR HAIR AND NAILS DON'T KEEP GROWING
A commonly-held myth states that our hair and nails continue
growing after death. In fact, after our bodies die, our skin loses
moisture, causing the skin on our entire body to shrink. The
shrinkage exposes more of our nail cuticles and hair
follicles, making them appear longer.
WE VOID OUR BOWELS
Commonly joked about on sitcoms, this fact does actually
happens to our bodies when we die. As rigor mortis is
affecting most of the body, some parts (sphincters, more
accurately) are being loosened. Since the brain keeps
our bodies’ sphincters closed as part of its regulation of
involuntary functions, when the brain shuts down, the
sphincters open, leading a corpse to rid itself of urine
or faeces left in the body.