Learn How Experts Decompose A Dead Body

I know that I  can never be able to share all the gross things in this world on my own, so I asked a friend of mine to share something that I am definitely sure you gross fanatics would want to find out.

Don’t worry, it is not just gross, but it is also educational (for your Science project, nothing else, hopefully). So Sit tight and read as my friend shares the process of decomposing a dead body:


Image Credit: carioca.ro


Hello there! I am Matthew, a forensic expert. I have been working with dead bodies and I know a lot of you are curious as to what happen to the human body after death. So, here it is! I will discuss with you the normal process involved in decomposition of a dead body.


It is the process of tissue destruction secondary to bacterial growth. The growth of bacteria usually comes from within the bowel of the dead body. It may come from the environment too, but rarely happens. If the environment is warm and moist, the bacterial growth is rapid, which also means that the decomposition process is faster. The putrefaction process will consume all the tissues of the dead body and only the bones will remain. The tendons and ligaments will also be decayed. So, what will remain is the pile of bones.


This decomposition process usually takes place in a very dry climate such as in the desert and high mountains where the air is dry. The dead body dries out rapidly, which will result to mummy. The dead body will be dry, to the extent that it becomes leathery.

Adipocere formation

This is a result of a chemical process “saponification.” It is caused by a certain reaction between the adipose tissue of the body and a particular group of bacteria. What it does is it converts the body fat into palmitic acids, stearic, and oleic. They are the primary components of adipocere. The end result is a whitish-grey and sometimes brownish, greasy substance. It casts the body in a doll-like way. The dead body looks like a manikin at a glance. I usually describe the dead body as something that is carved from a bar of soap. It usually takes a few months for the body to form an adipocere. This process often occurs in bodies found in damp, warm, and watery areas.

Being in the forensic industry and working with the dead bodies for many years now, I can say that the body does not always decompose in the same way. There are so many factors that can greatly affect the decomposition of the dead body.  Of course, the putrefaction is the typical decomposition process, but a body can be mummified or adipocere depending on the location and circumstances. I know most of you find my job scary and weird, but that’s the truth. I make money from working with the dead body.


Image credit: pixabay.com

So there, I hope you had fun and you learned something new through this blog entry, and I hoped you stomached it!