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Author Topic: body decomposition  (Read 21679 times)

Offline prometheus

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body decomposition
« on: 09/04/2003 01:12:06 »
Without wishing to appear gruesome, I am wondering how long it takes a body to fully decompose in the earth? I imagine it will vary depending on the soil, the environment and whether the body is in a casket or embalmed?

For example, if we're landscaping our garden, will the pet dog we buried 10 years ago be clean bones or might it still be a nasty, gooey mess?


 

Offline NakedScientist

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #1 on: 09/04/2003 08:40:38 »
Dear Prometheus (or should that be Fred West ??!)

there is a really good piece by forensic archaeologist Dr. Corinne Duhig who gave an interview on The Naked Scientists on 7th April 2002 - you'll need RealPlayer to hear it, but she addresses this kind of question :

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/html/shows/2002.04.07.htm
 

Offline pat

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #2 on: 09/04/2003 08:44:27 »
Great topic - anyone know, on a related theme, how soon after burying someone you can use the same grave site in a church yard ? What's the risk of diging bits of people up !!
 

Offline prometheus

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #3 on: 23/04/2003 12:21:02 »
Thanks, people. Will check out the link!
Now can anyone tell me the best way to remove bloodstains from a carpet?
;)
 

Offline saddam hussain

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #4 on: 24/04/2003 11:25:51 »
You're not looking for work are you, by any chance ?

I have an er...decorating and paving job that needs doing...quite quickly actually...!

Sad-dam H
 

Offline Exodus

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #5 on: 02/06/2003 00:39:33 »
I knew a great guy who could have helped you, his name was fred something... Fred...               West, thats it...

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Offline lulu

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #6 on: 05/06/2003 11:31:44 »
hi
at school we're discussing the quote from the bible "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" and the significance of dust in our world and how the bible says that god made man from dust.
When i looked up dust on the net this site came up so i was wondering if anyone could please help me. We have to write an essay on it and its quite hard.
Your help is greatly appreciated.
Thankyou
my address is: black_koffee112@hotmail.com
 

Offline Exodus

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #7 on: 05/06/2003 16:12:32 »
perhaps you can explain exactly what the essay wants you to refer to? Do you need information on dust itself or its relation to the aforementioned bible quote?

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Offline mbdick

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #8 on: 30/06/2003 13:17:02 »
I am A dyslexic artist so prepare to be confused
can any body help
I want to both monitor the decomposition process ie gasses, liquids ,types of, amounts etc and to desplay these on screen using sensors
secondly  I would like to run a kinetic sculpture from the available energy so which animal could i use to give out roughly the same  gasses liquids as a human body (experiment )

by the way has any body got freds address
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #9 on: 01/07/2003 12:13:37 »
"The Secret Life of Dust" was a book recommended in the NewScientist a while ago.

Am I dead? Am I alive? I'm both!
 

Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #10 on: 01/07/2003 19:02:36 »
Wow. After reading through here, I was curious who Fred West was. Yuck! I looked it up and am sickened. I don't recall hearing about that one. We have our "local boy goes bad" here too, but I guess they didn't broadcast Fred here.

There is a man in Tennessee, USA that his job is to mutilate and rate decomposition of cadavers for the CSI teams. He puts 'em in different scenarios and calculates the effects. He has a plot of land that is covered with carrion...Yum.
Here's a link to an article about "The Body Farm".

http://www.exploratorium.edu/traits/bodyfarm.html

Enjoy. With lunch.
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #11 on: 03/07/2003 23:35:17 »
The body farm site is very interesting.  Have you ever smelled a decaying body?  It's G-R-O-S-S[}:)]!!!
 

Offline chris

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #12 on: 03/07/2003 23:43:34 »
Donnah - when did you smell a decaying body then ? [:p]

Chris

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Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #13 on: 04/07/2003 08:52:53 »
I don't want to sound sick, but, I think the smell of decaying flesh has a somewhat sweet smell. Like a syrup. Why is that? Or, is it just me? Should I seek help?

I went to an autopsy once and it really made me ill. I've seen several greusome things, but the autopsy really got me. I wonder why a dead body in a controled environment affected me so differently than the gore (as a military photographer)I'd seen at other times.

Just a thought.
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #14 on: 06/07/2003 00:16:23 »
Chris - I was out riding my horse, who smelled it first.  When his ears went forward and he snorted I turned him in the direction he was looking.  We crested a hill and whew-e-e, then I smelled it.  It was a bovine carcass that had obviously been there a while and supplied numerous coyotes and critters with a meal.

Another time we surgically retreived embryos from a Simmental that had cancer in her eye.  When I prepped her for surgery the rotten flesh around her eye was pretty stinky, but it was the sound of the maggots in there that grossed me out.  I couldn't understand why someone would keep their cow alive with that kind of ailment just for money; disgusting.  We put her to sleep.
 

Offline george

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #15 on: 06/07/2003 14:20:14 »
Nice story.

But aren't maggots viewed as beneficial in medicine. I heard somewhere that 'maggot-therapy' could be used to clear up certain infections or something ???[?]
 

Offline nilmot

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #16 on: 06/07/2003 14:46:39 »
Yeah I think I've heard that before, maggots eat the rotten flesh or infected flesh on or around the wound and leave the wound clean afterward. I don't know why they don't eat the flesh itself if they are carnivorous?

Tom
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #17 on: 06/07/2003 16:56:53 »
Yes, maggots eat putrid flesh and certainly reduced the smell, but the sound was quite distinct and I mentally connected that sound to the cow's suffering.
 

Offline chris

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #18 on: 06/07/2003 23:47:41 »
You mean you could HEAR the maggots chomping away ?

Chris

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Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #19 on: 07/07/2003 00:45:28 »
I have maggot-o-phobia. I can handle anything but maggots and scorpions. I'll scream like a little girl if I get around either. I also have "toilet-over-flowbia" the fear of the toilet overflowing. Especially if I'm a guest.
 

Offline Quantumcat

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #20 on: 07/07/2003 01:27:04 »
hahahaha, I'm sorry but that is funny. I have this list full of phobias and their names, maybe one of the is maggotphobia

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Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #21 on: 07/07/2003 05:02:16 »
I can't explain my problem in this area. I hate / fear maggots but flies don't bother me. I know that they're just baby flies. I like babies but not too many adults. I like tomatoes but hate ketchup and tomato products. I'm just all messed up.
You should share some of that list on here. I find phobias very interesting...especially the obscure ones.
Just a thought.
 

Offline nilmot

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #22 on: 07/07/2003 09:03:00 »
Ronnie, I'm the exact opposite, I absolutely hate flies and maggots don't bother me that much. I like ketchup but not always the tomatoes because sometimes they can be a bit sour.

Tom
 

Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #23 on: 07/07/2003 09:52:29 »
Interesting how people differ, Tom. I really enjoy social studies and different cultural differences. I love how some things in the US are "taboo" in other countries and vice versa. It's the small character differences that I find so fascinating. I'm compelled by personalities, likes and dislikes, creature comforts and the so called norms of different societies and how they are so different in all areas. Some people love clowns and some are petrified by them. The durian fruit, for example. Cheese in other countries and all the rites and rituals of some cultures. Some cultures tattoo their infants and some leave them with baby-sitters. Both are considered inhumane by the other culture, yet perfectly alright by their own. Beef here, no beef in India. The list goes on and on.
Maybe we could "bridge the gap" by cooking up a maggot encrusted durian with melted cheese to dip in ketchup with a side of beef in tomato sauce.
just a thought.
 

Offline chris

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Re: body decomposition
« Reply #24 on: 07/07/2003 10:09:36 »
When I was in Beijing, China, I wandered along the street market watching people prepare and eat deep-friend scorpions on kebab sticks, deep fried cicadas (also on kebab sticks), deep fried entrails (on kebab sticks), deep fried chicken feet (free floating !).

I didn't try any though. The prospect of Mao's revenge (gut rot) didn't appeal.

Chris

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The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: body decomposition
« Reply #24 on: 07/07/2003 10:09:36 »

 

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