10 Common Myths About Dead Bodies That May Make You Squirm


Thought Catalog has compiled this list of creepy myths about dead bodies that are far from the truth. Here are 10 of the biggest misconceptions:

  1. Hair and nails continue to grow after death.Nail and hair growth occurs when new living cells form and push the dead ones out into the world. When a person dies, this activity ceases, which means no more growth occurs.
  2. Dead bodies occasionally sit up.The most they might do is twitch a little immediately after death. 
  3. Corpses are a bunch of stiffs.Typically, rigor mortis starts to set in around 6–12 hours later. The body can remain stiff anywhere from 18–36 hours, then will return to a more relaxed, floppy state.
  4. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.Oftentimes, additional testing is required. 
  5. If the hospital knows you’re an organ donor, they won’t try to save you.In the United States, federally designated, non-profit organ procurement organizations are separate institutions from hospitals, meaning the hospital is there to save your life, while the organ procurement organization is there to take your organs.
  6. Death investigation is done by CSI.Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) deals with evidence such as hair, fibers, shoe prints, etc. They collect this evidence and send it to be processed at a crime lab. Most commonly CSI is called to handle evidence from crimes dealing with living persons, such as rape or robbery.
  7. The zombie apocalypse is coming.Well, it could be. No one really knows for sure.
  8. A coroner is the same as a mortician.In the United States, coroners are elected officials who are responsible for death investigation and autopsies in some areas. Morticians handle funeral services and preparation of the body for burial and viewing.
  9. You’re going to be buried in a coffin.Caskets are rectangular boxes made from wood, composite, or metal, while coffins are six-sided, with the top wider than the bottom. European countries often use coffins, which can range from simple to lavishly decorated.
  10. The eyes stay closed after death.It’s actually quite natural for eyes to open post-death, which occurs due to muscle relaxation around the eyes. 


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