Stages of Deterioration in the Human Body
The Moment Of Death:
1. The heart stops.
2. The skin gets tight and ashen in color.
3. All the muscles relax.
4. The bladder and bowels empty.
5. The body temperature begins to drop 1 1/2 degrees Fahrenheit per hour.
After 30 minutes:
6. The skin gets purple and waxy.
7. The lips, fingernails, and toenails fade to a pale color.
8. Blood pools at the bottom of the body.
9. The hands and feet turn blue.
10. The eyes sink into the skull.
After 4 hours:
11. Rigor mortis has set in.
12. The purpling of the skin and the pooling of the blood continue.
13. Rigor continues to tighten muscles for another 24 hours or so.
After 12 hours:
14. The body is in full rigor mortis.
After 24 hours:
15. The body is now the temperature of the surrounding environment.
16. In males, the semen dies.
17. The head and neck are now a greenish-blue color.
18. The greenish-blue color spreads to the rest of the body.
19. There is a pervasive smell of rotting meat.
After 3 days:
20. The gas in the body tissues forms large blisters on the skin.
21. The whole body begins to bloat and swell grotesquely.
22. Fluids leak from the mouth, nose, vagina, and rectum.
After 3 weeks:
23. The skin, hair, and nails are so loose they can easily be pulled off the corpse.
24. The skin bursts open on many places on the body.
25. Decomposition will continue until the body is nothing but skelital remains, a process that can take a month or so in hot climates, and two months or more in cold climates.
This is actually pretty interesting.
Important for writers…helps avoid either walking in and knowing someone died moments ago “from the smell” (unless that smell is piss and shit), or finding someone dead for a week that “looks like they’re sleeping.”
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