Decomposing Dead Bodies... By: Sandhya Gedal

Many people wonder about dead people. Ancient Egyptians would mummify the body and pulled their brain out of their nose. They would also store a person’s organs in jars. We don't do this in today's day. But what do we do? How long does it take for a body to decompose? Does the body feel cold? What happens to their teeth when a person dies?

How does a person's body decompose? The body does not begin to decompose, break down until a person has been dead for at least 24-72 hours. At this point, their internal organs will start to decompose. When a decomposing body starts to decay, it becomes exposed to its surroundings. According to Molly Edmonds, “the Corpse ecosystem really comes into its own a place for germs, insects, and scavengers” If the body is exposed to air it will decompose twice as fast as a body immersed in water and eight times as fast a body buried in soil. The body will take about fifty years for it to fully break down. So as you can see the body takes different times to break down depending on what it is in.

Does the body feel cold? After the heart stops beating, the human body immediately starts turning cold. This is known as Algor Mortis, otherwise, knows as the death chill. Every hour the body temperature falls about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit until it reaches room temperature. The person’s legs, feet, and hands may be increasingly cool to the touch, sometimes parts of the person’s body become blotchy and darker in color.

What happens to their teeth when a person dies? According to Dr. Estelle Lazer, an archeologist from the University of Sydney, “the tooth bacteria causing dental decay doesn’t survive in a dead body.” This quote confirms that your teeth can be preserved, which is why ancient skeletons have teeth. A dead person’s teeth, being the hardest tissues in your body, will remain in their normal state, while the rest of the body becomes a skeleton.

Remember: even though your body will decompose, your teeth will remain forever. This is important because if a missing person’s body was found, they could look at their dental records to figure out who it is.

Created By
Sandhya Gedal


Created with images by theogeo - "skeleton garland" • Anas Qtiesh - "Tomb stones"

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