Caitlin Doughty

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs

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    Юлия Погодинаhas quoted15 days ago
    There is a specific way of folding and draping the flag.
    Юлия Погодинаhas quoted17 days ago
    according to the flight crew, no one ever really dies on a plane.
    Юлия Погодинаhas quoted18 days ago
    There is a circular muscle called the external anal sphincter that snuggles around the anus and locks down the fecal prison, preventing poop from leaving our bodies until we’re ready. (Except that one time after the spicy tacos.)
    Luhas quoted6 months ago
    A heart kept on ice can be transplanted up to four hours after death. A liver, ten. A particularly good kidney will last twenty-four hours, and sometimes as long as seventy-two if doctors use the right equipment after surgery.
    Olga Ghas quoted2 years ago
    When the skin on your hands dehydrates after death, the nail beds pull back, revealing more nail. The nails might seem longer, but it’s not the nail growing, it’s the skin revealing additional nail that was there all along. Same principle with hair. It might look like a dead man is growing out his stubble, but that’s not real hair growth. It’s his face drying out and shrinking to reveal the stubble. In short: it’s not that there’s more hair or nails, it’s that there’s less plump, living skin around the hair and nails. Two-thousand-year-old mystery solved.
    Olga Ghas quoted2 years ago
    Flying at high speeds can cause something called a hypotensive syncope, which happens when there isn’t enough blood and oxygen getting to the brain. When this occurs, the pilot’s vision starts to go, with the edges going first—creating the experience of looking down a bright tunnel. Sound familiar?

    Scientists believe that seeing this light at the end of the tunnel is the result of retinal ischemia, which happens when there isn’t enough blood reaching the eye. As less blood flows to the eyes, vision is reduced. Being in a state of extreme fear can also cause retinal ischemia. Both fear and decrease in oxygen are associated with dying. In this context, the extreme white tunnel vision characteristic of NDEs starts to make much more sense.
    Olga Ghas quoted2 years ago
    In Germany, in the late 1700s, there were physicians who believed that the only way to tell if someone was truly dead was to wait for the person to start rotting—bloating, smelling, the whole works. This belief led to the creation of the Leichenhaus, a “waiting mortuary,” where dead bodies would hang out in a fire-heated room (heat encourages decomposition) until no one could dispute that the dead person was 100 percent dead.
    Olga Ghas quoted2 years ago
    Your body might also make noises that have nothing to do with the dying nervous system. After you die, your gut is party central, with billions of bacteria eating away at your intestines before moving on to your liver, your heart, your brain. But, with all that feasting comes waste. Those billions of bacteria produce gases like methane and ammonia, which bloat your stomach. That bloat means internal pressure, and if the pressure builds up enough, your body can purge, releasing vile-smelling liquid or air. When a body purges, it may make a creepy whooshing sound. Worry not, this isn’t the horrible ghost wails of the dead, it’s . . . bacteria farts.
    Olga Ghas quoted2 years ago
    Because of abuse of corpse laws, nobody’s dead body can be claimed as property. “Finders keepers” doesn’t apply here. But unfortunately, those same abuse of corpse laws prevent you from plopping Mom’s skull on your bookcase.
    Olga Ghas quoted2 years ago
    There’s the smallest of small possibilities that if Lisa’s body was sent out into space in a small, self-propelled craft like an escape pod, which then departed our solar system, traveled across the empty expanse to some exoplanet, survived its descent through whatever atmosphere might exist there, and cracked open on impact, Lisa’s microbes and bacterial spores could create life on a new planet. Good for Lisa! How do we know that alien Lisa wasn’t how life on Earth started, huh? Maybe the “primordial goo” from which Earth’s first living creatures emerged was just Lisa decomposition? Thanks, Dr. Lisa.
    Olga Ghas quoted2 years ago
    Cats tend to consume human parts that are soft and exposed, like the face and neck, with special focus on the mouth and nose. Don’t rule out some chomps on the eyeballs—but Snickers is more likely to go for the softer, easier-access choices. Think: eyelids, lips, or tongue.
    Елизавета Горскаяhas quoted2 years ago
    Depending on what country you live in, one of two things happens to the bones after a cremation. The first thing that can happen is nothing. Those chunks of bones are given directly back to the family in a large urn. One of my favorite death rituals, the kotsuage, from Japan, involves the careful handling of cremated skeletons.

    Japan has the highest cremation rate in the world. After a body is cremated there, the bones are allowed to cool before they are laid out for the family of the deceased. Starting at the feet and working up toward the head, the family uses long white chopsticks to pick pieces of bone out of the ash to deposit in an urn. They start from the feet and work their way up to the head because they don’t want to make the dead person spend an eternity upside down.

    Sometimes, larger bones, like thigh bones, require two people to pick up the bone at once. And sometimes the family will pass bone fragments to one another, chopsticks to chopsticks. This is the only time passing something between chopsticks is not considered rude. If you were to do this in public, with, say, a pork sparerib at a restaurant, it would be like bringing a funeral ritual to the dinner table.
    Елизавета Горскаяhas quoted2 years ago
    There have been eighteen astronaut deaths, but all were caused by a bona fide space disaster. Space shuttle Columbia (seven deaths, broken apart due to structural failure), space shuttle Challenger (seven deaths, disintegrated during launch), Soyuz 11 (three deaths, air vent ripped open during descent, and the only deaths to have technically happened in space), Soyuz 1 (one death, capsule parachute failure during reentry).
    Елизавета Горскаяhas quoted2 years ago
    Those who have smelled a decomposed body rarely forget the experience. I conducted an informal poll of funeral directors and medical examiners, asking them to tell me how they describe the unforgettable smell. They offered thoughts ranging from “like roadkill, but way bigger,” to “like rotting vegetables–soggy brussels sprouts or broccoli,” to “rotten beef trapped in your refrigerator.” Other examples: “rotting eggs,” “licorice,” “garbage can,” “sewage.”

    And me? Oh, how to describe the smell of a decomposing human body—what poetry is needed! I get a sickly-sweet odor mixed with a strong rotting odor. Think: your grandma’s heavy sweet perfume sprayed over a rotting fish. Put them together in a sealed plastic bag and leave them in the blazing sun for a few days. Then open the bag and put your nose in for a big whiff.
    Елизавета Горскаяhas quoted2 years ago
    High in the mountains of Tibet, where the ground is often too rocky and frozen for burial, and where not enough trees grow to perform cremations, a different kind of death ritual developed. To this day, bodies are laid out in an open area for a sky burial, a lovely name for the dead body being consumed by vultures.
    Елизавета Горскаяhas quoted2 years ago
    It seems like no creature out there wants to eat bone, really prefers bone. But wait, I haven’t introduced you to Osedax, or the bone worm. (I mean, it’s right there in the name, people. Osedax means “bone eater” or “bone devourer” in Latin.) Bone worms start as tiny larvae, floating out in the vast blackness of the deep ocean. Suddenly, emerging from the void above is a big ol’ dead creature, like a whale or an elephant seal. The bone worm attaches, and the feast begins. To be fair, even Osedax don’t really devour the minerals in the bone. Instead, they burrow into the bone searching for collagen and lipids to eat. After the whale is gone, the worms die, but not before they release enough larvae to travel the currents waiting for another carcass to comes along.

    Bone worms aren’t picky. You could throw a cow, or your dad (don’t do that), overboard and they’d eat those bones, too. There is strong evidence that bone worms have been eating giant marine reptiles since the time of the dinosaurs. That means the whale eaters are older than whales themselves. Osedax are nature’s peak bone eaters, and they’re even sorta nice to look at, orangey-red floating tubes covering bones like a deep-sea shag carpet.
    Елизавета Горскаяhas quoted2 years ago
    When Paris was under siege in the late sixteenth century, the city was starving. When people inside the city ran out of cats and dogs and rats to eat, they began disinterring bodies from the mass graves in the cemetery. They took the bones and ground them into flour to make what became known as Madame de Montpensier’s bread. Bone appetit! (Actually, maybe don’t bone appetit, as many who ate the bone bread died themselves.)
    Елизавета Горскаяhas quoted2 years ago
    Scientists believe that seeing this light at the end of the tunnel is the result of retinal ischemia, which happens when there isn’t enough blood reaching the eye. As less blood flows to the eyes, vision is reduced. Being in a state of extreme fear can also cause retinal ischemia.
    Елизавета Горскаяhas quoted2 years ago
    Not everyone finds themselves walking into a sparkling white light while scenes of childhood pets and awkward job interviews pass before their eyes.
    Елизавета Горскаяhas quoted2 years ago
    Once Grandma has had her time to decompose, her bones need to step aside for a whole new generation of rotting corpses.
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