17 Surprising Facts You Might Not Know About Death

Some look at death from a spiritual point of view, and some from a scientific point of view. Here’s a different point of view- a list of facts: Did you know that Greek philosopher Chrysippus is said to have died of laughter after getting his donkey drunk, trying to eat figs? Or that 35 million cells in your body die every minute? Read on to know some more facts about death, that you probably may not know:

1. Within 3 days of death, the enzymes that once digested your food, begin to slowly digest the intestines and other parts of your body.

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2. When Thomas Edison died in 1941, Henry Ford captured his dying breath in a bottle.

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3. The practice of burying the dead may date back 350,000 years.

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4. When a person dies, his sense of hearing is the last to go.

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5. Vending machines kill 13 people per year by falling on them.

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6. We are born with over 270 bones, and die with 206.

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7. In the UK, it is illegal to die in the House of Parliament.

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8. Brain cells die just after 3 minutes of oxygen starvation.

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9. In ancient Egypt, when a rich man was mummified his heart was removed from his body and a heart-shaped stone carving of a dung beetle was put in its place.

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10. The entire body stiffens 2-6 hours after death.

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This is caused by chemical changes in the muscles after death, causing the limbs of the corpse to stiffen after death, known as Rigor mortis. It takes about two days for Rigor mortis to fade, and once it does, decay sets in. A dead body holds its position as Rigor mortis sets in; This can be used to determine the time of death, and in crime scenes it is used to determine if the body was moved, etc.

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11. The body turns white and purple.

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When the heart stops functioning and is no longer agitating the blood, heavy red blood cells sink through the serum by action of gravity. While the rest of the body turns deathly pale, heavy red blood cells move to the parts of the body that are closest to the ground because circulation stops. The results are purple splotches over the lower parts known asLivor mortis. Studying the markings of livor mortis helps the coroner to determine the time of death. It can also be used by forensic  investigators to determine whether or not a body has been moved – for instance, if the body is found lying face down but the pooling is present on the deceased’s back, investigators can conclude that the body was originally positioned face up.

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12. Cockroaches can live for nine days without their heads, at which point they die of starvation.

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 As if they weren’t creepy enough.

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13. Ancient Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows to mourn the death of their cats.

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14. A few companies will launch your loved ones’ cremated remains into outer space for a fee.

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Space burial refers to the launching of cremated remains into outer space. Only a sample is launched so as to make the service affordable. The ashes remain sealed inside their spacecraft until the spacecraft either: (A) re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere and burns up upon re-entry; (B) parachutes back to Earth for recovery ; or (C) reaches its final, extraterrestrial destination (e.g. the Moon).

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15. There’s a scientific explanation for why your life “flashes before your eyes.”

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It is now believed that instead of the brain becoming more inactive during the final moments of life, brain activity actually surges, causing a hyper-aware mental state. This heightened state of consciousness can cause unexpected things to happen, whether that be “life flashing before your eyes” or a “light at the end of a tunnel” which is also helped along by the loss of blood and oxygen flow to the eyes.

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16. Muscle contraction caused by Rigor mortis around the scrotum can lead to an erection, even after death.

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17. And as if all this wasn’t hard to digest….There have been many instances where people declared dead woke up during their own funeral!

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One example is that of Deepak Singh, 72, who collapsed in his home in Bhilwada, India and was declared dead by the local doctor. His family lay him out on pieces of wood and cloth for burial on a funeral pyre; They began wailing loudly which woke him up and he started to move.

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 As if life wasn’t confusing enough…. Sigh.

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