(ORDO NEWS) — No matter how strange it may sound, but after death the body continues to live for some time: chemical processes take place in it, it can make sounds and even move, special processes are launched in it, of course, different from ensuring human life, but no less important from a biological point of view.
Yes, this is life in a figurative sense of the word, but from the moment the heart stops, the body is an entire evolving ecosystem that lives according to its own laws.
What happens to the human body immediately after death
What happens to the human body when it dies? First of all, of course, the heart stops, but what happens then?
Immediately after the death of a person, the blood stops circulating through the body, and therefore oxygen, which is involved in all vital processes, no longer enters the tissues.
At this moment, almost immediately after death, the cells begin to experience oxygen starvation, the process of autolysis starts, in other words, self-digestion begins, which first starts in the enzyme-rich liver, and then in other organs.
Cells and tissues under the action of their own hydrolytic enzymes begin to dissolve, structural molecules are destroyed.
Autolysis in nature is triggered not only by death, but also by other physiological processes. Metamorphosis (when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, or a tadpole into a frog) is also accompanied by autolysis.
Body temperature after death
After the death of a person, the body temperature gradually decreases to atmospheric values (the body cools down by about 0.8 degrees Celsius per hour), followed by rigor mortis.
All the same oxygen is no longer involved in the formation of adenosine triphosphoric acid (ATP), which is of great importance in the metabolism of energy and substances in the body.
ATP is no longer hydrolyzed with calcium and its ions move from the intercellular fluid to the striated muscles, which is why persistent muscle contracture is formed, in other words, contraction.
What happens to human muscles after death
In the first hours after the death of a person’s body, his muscles become soft. Rigor mortis usually develops from two to five hours after death, and by the end of the first day it covers all the muscles. Muscles become dense, decrease in volume, lose elasticity.
The joints are fixed in a state of immobility. Rigor mortis develops in a certain sequence: first the muscles of the head, then the neck, forelimbs, trunk, hind limbs.
The flexor muscles are more powerful than the extensor muscles, so the body does not fully bend the upper limbs at the elbow joints, the hands are half-compressed, the lower limbs are also half-bent at the hip and knee joints.
Rigor mortis persists for up to two or three days, and then disappears in the same sequence in which it occurs. Enzymatic decomposition then starts.
How does the human body decompose after death?
After the death of the human body, its immune system stops working, bacteria and microbes, with which the body simply teems during life, are now not restrained by anyone and freely travel through the body.
Most of the “residents” are in the digestive system, from there their “banquet” begins. First, the bacteria slowly absorb the intestines, feeding on the chemical “compote” flowing from the cells, then switch to the surrounding tissues.
If a person’s body after death is in a dry, well-ventilated place for a long time, then the tissues begin to quickly lose moisture and dry out – a kind of natural mummification of the body occurs. The corpse loses up to 9/10 of its original mass, decreases in volume, the skin becomes dense, acquires a brownish-brown color, the internal organs decrease in volume, become dry
Approximately 20 hours after the death of a person, the body begins to decompose – the bacteria reach the liver, and it takes a little more than two days to spread throughout the body.
From this moment, death begins already at the molecular level: the tissues of the body completely disintegrate, turning into gases and liquids. Gradually, the pressure of gases builds up in the body, they begin to come out of the holes of the body.
Sometimes the pressure is so high that the abdominal cavity bursts. At this point, the decaying organism begins to interact with the environment, attracting the attention of external microbes, microorganisms, insects and scavengers.
Thus, the ecosystem of the corpse ceases to be limited by its own body, and a long-term active chemical and food exchange begins – decomposition, as a result of which only bone tissue remains.
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