The fascinating process of human decomposition

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Last month I visited a body farm in Texas. So these are places where researchers take

recently deceased human bodies and they essentially just leave them out to decompose. So this

research, mainly it's helpful when law enforcement come across a body under mysterious circumstances,

maybe a murder, and they want to know how long has it been out here. The bodies are

scattered all over the field. They have about 50 out and most of them are under these metal

cages that prevent the vultures from getting in. I kept asking him to lift up the cages

for me to get better photos. So what happens right after you die is all the fluids that

are inside your cells when you're alive leak out and bacteria start feeding immediately.

There converting the liquids and solids inside you into gasses that they emit, and this causes

the second stage, which is bloat. You also have something called marbling during this

stage because one of the gases, sulfur, binds to the hemoglobin molecules in your blood

and changes the color of them to an orange or yellow. And at the same time, flies come.

They come almost immediately when the body is placed, and they lay eggs. And they especially

lay them in any orifices, so your head will get a lot of maggots on it -- the eye sockets

and mouth and nose, and they'll eat away at that first. They're absolutely just crawling

all over the body, like, getting up really close to it and taking photos was the most

intense thing I did there. Then after a few days of that, the body moves to the third

stage, which is called purge. And that's ultimately the bloating is relieved as a lot of the gas

and fluids leak out and you see this dark fluid pooling around the body. And the interesting

thing is that fluid is really nutrient rich, but it's so rich in nitrogen that it kills

off the plants initially. But a year later, it'll become especially fertile. So here this