Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Dead people grow no huge claws and no long hair as they lie still in their graves

Ever heard scary stories about dead people who still had their hair and nails growing even several days after death? People say that they allegedly saw dead bodies moving right in their coffins or even disappearing from their graves which was mysteriously revealed when it was required to exhume them. Doctors insist that all observations of the type are illusory.

When a human being dies all liquids that keeps up the skin turgor begin to evaporate together with fatty tissue and other fluids of the body. As a result, the skin dries out and hardens. Stubble may often appear on dead men's faces no matter if they had been clean-shaven before death or not. The evaporation of liquids is also the reason why we can see that nails of the deceased seem to be longer than they were at the moment of death. Finger-pads get smaller due to the lack of liquid in the body and thus reveal bigger nails. If eyes of a dead man are not closed immediately after his death, soon an eyesore may appear on the eye surface which will dry out as well.

In other words, all biological and chemical processes that keep a human being living, stop immediately after death and thus can cause no outward changes to the body any longer. Morbid anatomist from a Moscow hospital Olga Shustova says there is a hypothesis saying that cells of the cerebellum known as the Purkinje cells can remain active within four days after a person’s death. These cells are said to be particularly stable against hypoxia.

However, this is not a proven fact and sounds quite dubious, the expert says. She adds that brain is an organ that is separated from the rest of the organism with several covers and is not yet properly studied. Human brain is a specific medium having its autonomous functional regime.

Olga Shustova tells that hospital attendants in morgues have to break distorted vertebrae of hunched people to make their dead bodies straight to be placed into a coffin.

Forensic experts tell that they sometimes observe dead bodies move. This may occur if a dead body stayed outside for a very long period, and emphysema has already started in the organism. It means that the integrity of tissues is broken and a dead body may move up and down as a result of sweeping air outcome. This is a rather terrible sight, forensic experts say.

The same may occur to a dead body in the coffin: as a result of air outcome arms or legs of a dead body may shift. Olga Shustova is sure this is absolute nonsense when people say they saw nothing at all when had to be present at exhumation of a grave. A dead human body can not absolutely disappear as a result of decomposition of tissues no matter how long it stayed under the surface. Some inorganic compounds will definitely remain in bones. They may scatter right in your hands if the wind starts blowing but will never disappear absolutely. Archeological excavations demonstrate remains of ancient people that are unbroken even these days.

It may sometimes happen that exhumation of a grave revealed a dead body curved in a very strange manner which could happen for rather natural reasons, either as a result of high water or lowering of the ground, and so on.

Andrey Belyakov

Translated by Maria Gousseva