6 Gruesome Post-Death Rituals
Here at Scared Yet, we often talk about how strange life is, so let’s look at the flipside. Death is also pretty darned odd! Ever since we realized what death really is, its consumed us. No one really knows what comes after life ends. Some people state that everything we do up until death is meant to prepare us for that inevitability. Take a look at some of these creepiest death facts around.
Making Others Beautiful Post-Mortem
Every year, many people donate their bodies to science. Some of those bodies will be used for research, and some of those bodies may have their parts made into anatomical models. Still others will be dissected by medical students. However, when you donate your body to science, the most likely outcome is that you will be used for practice by students of plastic surgery.
Sky burials are a common form of funerary rite in places where the ground is often too hard to bury people. In this process, the deceased are prepared and set up so that their bodies can be devoured by carrion birds. Depending on the time and the era, this process can be more or less elaborate. In Tibet, for example, a sky burial includes dismembering the deceased and pounding their remains to a mush before mixing it into a mash with yak butter.
Bodies Turning to Soap
If you watched Fight Club, you know that human fat can be made into soap. The movie avoids the fact that fat from butchered animals does just as well, and it also avoids the fact that sometimes, this can just happen naturally! In certain rarified circumstances, the fat of the body can slowly turn into a semi-liquid material known as adipocere. This soapy material is known for occasionally leaking out tombs.
In an era of television and quick photograpy, it’s fairly hard to imagine not knowing what a famous person looks like. In the time before this technology however, it was entirely common for people to be ignorant of how the famous people of the day appeared. The solution then, was a death mask, a wax cast taken of a famous person after they died. John Keats, Nikola Tesla and Oliver Cromwell all had death masks created after they died. In the case of one Canadian politician, a cast was taken of his hands as his face had been shattered by a bullet.
Human Remains Dogs
Dogs are trained to do all manner of rescue work, but the dogs who are used to detect human remains are in a league of their own. According to one source, a dog that has been trained to detect the odors of decomposition on a human body can locate remains that are 14 months old. Trainers who own these dogs, and dogs that are trained to detect human cadavers must reward these dogs with happiness and praise when they find something, which can make for a rather macabre crime site.
Maggots Sound Like Rice Krispies
When a body is laid out in an outdoor environment for an extended period of time, flies will come lay their eggs in the flesh. After a surprisingly short amount of time, the fly’s larvae, known as maggots will develop. When enough maggots develop, the sound they make as they eat the flesh is a great deal like the crackling of Rice Krispies when milk is poured on them.
Buried with Bricks
In prehistoric times and premodern times, burial position was quite important. Many peoples throughout the world had traditions that revolved around being buried facing east or west. Some burial positions tell us about what those doing the burying thought about those being buried. In Venice, one woman was buried in the 16th century with a large brick shoved between her legs. It is thought that given her burial, in a grave pit with victims of cholera, that supersititous people might have thought she was a vampire. The brick was apparently intended to keep her away from the living.