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Thank you, SW Barratt

Corpse in mortuary

When You Die What Happens to Your Body?

Published: February 21, 2024

For most of us, the question ‘when you die what happens’ is one that man think of. The connection with the bodies of the individuals who have died starts and winds up with the sorrowful event of a funeral service.

And even then, the only thing we receive is either a body fitted neatly in a coffin or an urn holding the dead individual’s cremated remains.

But, what happens to a body in death? What can happen to your body naturally when you have your grand confront with death? What can you expect if the deceased never wished to have their body embalmed, or if the body doesn’t get cremated?

Under natural circumstances – for instance, if the deceased’s body is abandoned in a natural surrounding or positioned in a skin-deep grave – the lifeless will start to disintegrate slowly.

This revealing post will answer the main points to the question when you die what happens?

When you die what happens? – 14 points

1. Skin discoloration 

Skin discoloration occurs and keeps taking place after you pass away. As gravity starts to affect, the skin displays a purplish-red colour in points where blood puddles.

Moreover, some killers can make the skin even more colourful. For instance, the blood will turn ‘cherry’ red if an individual dies due to carbon monoxide. This carbon monoxide can even brighten each organ internally. Also, your skin can turn green if you die from hydrogen sulphide gas poisoning.

2. Groaning/Moaning possibility

Any air standing in the deceased’s body – from the gas freed by bacteria or CPR – can make the dead’s vocal cords tremble. Moreover, research shows that the deceased’s body can produce squeaks, moans, or groans. However, never take fright over several noisy corpses.

3. Wrinkles fade away

Generally, passing away stands out as the eventual Botox. Research shows that all the deceased’s muscles lose tension, causing each wrinkle to fade a little. Essentially, this explains why Botox functions. If you’re truly old, your saggy skin will still show.

4. Nails & hair may appear like they’re growing

You may have heard that one’s nails & hair continue growing after passing away – but that’s wrong. Even doctors agree that this is the most popular misconception they encounter on if hair/fingernails continue growing after one passes away.

However, research shows that this nail and hair lengthening happens because of the extremity skin and scalp drying up, uncovering more fingernails and hair below the fading tissues.

5. Releasing foul air

As the bacteria in the deceased’s body begin to decompose their digestive system, their body will free foul air via any opening, such as their mouths.

6. Releasing all remaining faeces & urine

This fact is not something pleasant to contemplate, but it always occurs. Each muscle in the deceased’s body will relax, including the sphincter muscles. As a result, the deceased’s body will release all the remaining faeces and urine.

7. The body will slowly chill

This effect occurs after some time, but the deceased’s body will become cold and lose one and a half degrees Fahrenheit every one hour, for the next twenty to thirty hours, up to where it attains the ambient temperature.

8. Probability of moving 

No, this does not mean you’re reawakening or becoming a zombie. However, your muscles will likely tremor and shrink (a bit) for some hours after you pass away. This effect can be more upsetting to anyone around the deceased’s body.

9. Terrible odour production

Unfortunately, don’t expect to smell awesome after passing away; this effect can occur quickly. 2-3 days in, the deceased’s internal organs begin to decompose and release two major chemicals; cadaverine and putrescine. These chemicals can produce an overwhelming odour.

10. Body becomes stiff

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When you die what happens? – Within twelve hours of one’s passing away, the entire body gets stiff as rigor mortis develops. It’ll take several days before the deceased’s body eases again.

Human skull

11. Body starts eating itself

When you die what happens? As the deceased’s cells start to collapse, they’re absorbed by the body’s bacteria & enzymes. This process can set in swiftly, based on your death’s cause. For instance, if you pass away from sepsis – immense bacteria inflammation of each of your body organs – putrefaction happens swiftly.

This process occurs quickly since the bacteria that collapse your body tissues after passing away have so far rolled out to each of your body corners.

Moreover, individuals who heavy-dose on specific medicines that raise body temperatures, such as ecstasy and methamphetamine – might also display hastened decomposition changes.

12. Probability of turning into soap

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When you die what happens? This is a strange thing, but it’s real. Bodies abandoned in a damp and cool surrounding mainly decay via adipocere – a chemical process that converts fat into soap. Instead of decomposing and becoming skeletons, the bodies are structurally well-conserved in a baggy grey/yellowish way popularly named “grave wax.”

13. Eyes take on colours

Many individuals pass away while their eyes are open. Also, the eyes turn grey/blue when the eyes’ whites begin to dry out. This process takes the name “tache noir,” and it regularly appears in the forensic board examinations.

This helps to confirm if the pathologists identify it as the typical post-mortem transformation or if they confuse it with intoxication or a disease state.

14. Active brainwaves

Interestingly, research in 2018 shows that a deceased’s brain might release signals for up to ten minutes immediately following death. Furthermore a 2016 study showed amazingly that over 1,000 genes were still active some days after death.


Ancient graveyard

In general the short answer to when you die what happens? is that nature takes over quite quickly. Generally, the natural cycle of life means that most of the deceased’s body will decompose within some months. At fifty degrees Fahrenheit, the body’s soft tissue takes around four months to decay, but this decomposition can happen faster at higher temperatures. 

Soon, your body will become bits of done dry skin, skeleton, and cartilage that will in time decay. All this is of course part of the natural cycle of life and nature.

Embalming has evolved over the years and is now common place, apart from some religious faiths and not being allowed in natural burial grounds.

Some relatives prefer to have a permanent keepsake of their loved one and choose to have cremated remains or hair place in memorial ash jewellery or into a diamond from cremation ash which can then be set in jewellery.

If you would like to learn more about locating low-cost funerals, low-cost headstones, natural burials, DIY funerals, free financial help from the Government and charities as well as bereavement support, then please visit Save Funeral Costs™

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SW Barratt
Founder: SW Barratt

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