Here’s What Really Happens To Our Bodies When We Die

by : Tom Percival on : 05 Nov 2016 12:17

Since the dawn of humanity mankind has wondered, ‘what happens to us when we die?’ Well I can tell you, they stick you in a wooden box and bury you six foot underground – that or they burn you.


However a fascinating video from AsapScience has explained exactly what happens to your body from the moment you take your last breath to the gruesome final stages of decomposition.

Thankfully there’re no real life pictures in the video, instead we get nice, colourful cartoons to explain the process.


In the initial seconds of death your body uses up the last of its oxygen and brain activity surges. Soon after the neurons in your brain stop firing and your body stops producing the hormones that keep you ticking.


As your body uses up the last of its energy your muscles relax causing the freshly-made cadaver to shit and piss itself – while most people would die of embarrassment if this happened to them corpses have a significant advantage over the living here as they’re already dead.

Only a few minutes after death the skin begins to turn pale as the heart is no longer pumping blood into the skin’s capillaries, the blood also begins to pool in the body’s lower parts.


Within three to six hours rigor mortis sets in and lasts between 24 to 48 hours.

Days later, unless you’re embalmed, the body begins to rot as dying cells and trapped CO2 cause the body’s pH levels to rise. This weakens cell membranes and contributes to the body’s break down.

This stage is called putrefaction and is pretty grim to be honest as microbes digest the body, liquidating the body’s organs and turning them to a foul smelling soup.


The smell attracts insects that lay eggs in the corpse which eventually hatch as maggots and devour 60 per cent of the body’s remaining tissue.


The insects open up holes in the body and the thick soup that was once your internal organs leaks out. The final stage of decomposition is dry decay, when the body drys out and is consumed by beetles and fungi.

Eventually your entire body is broken down to its basic elements and enters the carbon cycle to be used again and again in a never ending Disney patented ‘circle of life’.

What a cheery article to read on a Sunday afternoon…

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.

Topics: News


  1. AsapScience

    What Happens When You Die?