The 4 Stages Of Human Decomposition
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What is "human decomposition"?
Human decomposition is a natural process involving the breakdown of tissue after death.
Stage 1: Autolysis (aka Fresh)
Time Frame: Immediately After Death
Rigor mortis sets in and the skin's top layer begins to loosen.
Blood circulation and respiration stop. Membranes in cells rupture, releasing enzymes that begin eating the cells from the inside out.
Stage Two: Bloat
Leaked enzymes produce gases that cause skin discoloration. The gases can cause the human body to double in size.
Insect activity begins.
Time Frame: 3-5 Days After Death
Stage Three: Active Decay
Time Frame: 8-10 Days After Death
Fluids released through orifices indicate the beginning of active decay. Organs, muscles, and skin become liquefied.
Hair, bones, cartilage, and other byproducts of decay remain after all of the body’s soft tissue decomposes.
Stage Four: Skeletonization
Time Frame: Dependent on outside factors
The body completely liquefies, leaving behind a skeleton.
The skeleton has a decomposition rate based on the loss of organic (collagen) and inorganic components.