death

Your Decaying Corpse Becomes A Factory Of Toxic Chemicals After You Die

What happens after we die? Spiritually, who knows. Physically? Your body becomes a festering production line, spewing out more than 400 nasty compounds that would be toxic to your body if you weren’t already dead, as Scientific American explains in this unsettlingly cheery animation.


The Woods Around Chernobyl Aren't Decaying

Like a landscape of the undead, the woods outside Chernobyl are having trouble decomposing. The catastrophic meltdown and ensuing radiation blast of April 1986 has had long-term effects on the very soil and ground cover of the forested region, essentially leaving the dead trees and leaf litter unable to decompose. The result is a forest full of “petrified-looking pine trees” that no longer seem capable of rotting.


Will Smallpox Reemerge In Siberia As Corpses Thaw From Climate Change?

In an article primarily about the potential folly of holding onto stockpiles of smallpox virus for research purposes — a now-eradicated plague that humans no longer have natural immunity to and that would very likely cause a worldwide catastrophe should it escape from the lab — the BBC includes one awesomely horrible detail. Could the frozen bodies of smallpox victims in Siberia, now thawing because of climate change, re-release the virus into the environment and thus start a global pandemic?


Lightning Kills Three People On A Beach, Injures 22

Argentina’s beaches are getting quite dangerous during the southern hemisphere’s summer. Seventy people were injured by a swarm of piranhas about two weeks ago and now lightning has killed three teens and injured 22 people in a seaside spa of Villa Gesell, a coastal town in the province of Buenos Aires. Earth can be quite an unforgiving place at times.


New Bullet Expands Itself Into Four Connected Parts To Kill Better

It may seem impossible at this point, but humans keep enhancing their ability to kill others using guns. Example: the new Advanced Ballistics Concepts’ new Mi-Bullet, a projectile that expands into four connected parts as soon as it’s fired. The mechanism — shown in the video — is very clever, making almost impossible to miss a target.


How Corpses Helped Shape The London Underground

As Mexico City archaeologists sort through the surreal array of Aztec sacrificial skulls recently uncovered while excavating their city’s subway system, it’s worth remembering that parts of the London Underground were also tunnelled, blasted, picked and drilled through a labyrinth of plague pits and cemeteries.


Six Feet Over: The Future Of Skyscraper Cemeteries

This month in Oslo, an architecture student named Martin McSherry presented a controversial idea to a gathering of cemetery and funeral professionals. The topic? His design for a “vertical cemetery” that could, in theory, solve Norway’s growing graveyard conundrum.


Norway Is Overrun With Plastic-Covered Corpses That Refuse To Rot

Norway’s got a major corpse problem that isn’t going away anytime soon. Literally — they won’t rot. What’s the culprit behind this profusion of bodies that refuse to take their place in the circle of life? The same thing that’s also working to keep your sandwich fresh: plastic wrap.


Giz Explains: How Embalming Makes The Dead Look Alive

President Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865, mere hours after John Wilkes Booth inflicted the mortal gunshot wound, but his body had to survive a 19-day train ride across the country before being laid to rest in Springfield, Illinois. And thanks to a recent discovery by a Union surgeon, the US president looked as serene when he arrived as when he left. Death is never pretty, but we sure can come close.


Australian-Produced Short Explores The Morbid Art Of Making Dead Bodies Beautiful

Here’s a look at the delicate process of preparing a dead body for a funeral. Warning: Watching this video will force you to confront your own mortality. But at least it shows that while death may not be pretty, what you leave behind can be.