Warning: Distressing Content
Decomposing corpses – not something I particularly want to think about, unless I’m watching The Walking Dead.
And a body farm – I don’t even want to know that is,…..well no, I won’t lie, I totally do!
Well, Australia have their first ever ‘body farm’ and apparently it houses 100 corpses.
The decomposing bodies are kept in order to help solve murder cases, according to the Daily Mail.
The secret location, which is reportedly west of Sydney, has bodies donated to the facility for scientific purposes.
The bodies are left exposed to the elements so that the researchers can observe their stages of decomposition.
Even more frighteningly, the bodies are kept inside cages to protect them – hopefully with reference to scavenging wildlife rather than other humans.
Those of you who’ve been to the Blue Mountains, or are planning going – it’s not far – gulp!
Shari Forbes, a forensic scientist dubbed the ‘Queen of the Dead’, leads the team based at the centre, which is hidden in dense bushland near to the mountains
Speaking to 60 Minutes, Forbes said:
I really don’t have a problem with how people want to term my role and particularly how they want to term the facility itself.
I see a lot of different things – I’ll see the insect activity on the bodies and I’ll smell the odour.
Police will ask us to estimate how long a person has been deceased.
Corpses are reportedly strewn across the bushland, with some so badly decayed that they are nothing but skeletal remains.
Grace Tobin, producer of the Channel Nine programme described the scenes at the facility:
There is flesh, facial features, fluid and flies… So many flies.
Some have been there so long they’ve disintegrated into piles of bones, camouflaged by dry leaves and vegetation.
Others – just months old – are shrouded in brown, leathery skin.
As grim as it may sound, the facility has proved to be invaluable to criminal investigations.
It’s said to provide previously unobtainable forensic tools that help identify and examine badly decomposed bodies.
In the 1970’s, scientists realised how little they knew in regards to decomposition of human flesh and it was this period, that saw the idea of body farms being first introduced.
Before using humans, scientists worked on pig remains to try to understand the process of putrefaction.
Scientist Forbes continued:
Some of our research focuses on enhancing our ability to search and locate victim remains, such as the use of cadaver detection dogs.
Other aspects of our research will focus on the identification of the victim, whether that be through fingertips, DNA or the use of isotopes.
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Respect to the guys that work at the facility – that’s one job my stomach definitely couldn’t handle on a Monday morning.