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Know About DeathYou just never know. Some evening you may find yourself as a plus one at a funeral directors' convention or need some snappy chitchat at a Halloween party. In any case, it is best to be prepared. The following are some fun and sometimes unsettling facts about the other thing we all face besides taxes.

Why We Die

One theory suggests that the majority of organisms on earth get killed or die of disease before they reach old age, therefore denying evolution the opportunity to deal with the mutations that lead to death as a result of ageing. Another hypothesis afloat is that we are all allergic to oxygen. Contrary to the more popular notion that the element is a life-sustaining nutrient, it may actually be killing us, just slowly.

Death and Math

Many of the more mind-boggling facts about death seem to require a Theoretical Physics for Dummies handbook. Still, a few are graspable by the layperson. For example, it is estimated that there have been around 108 billion of the most modern version of the human alive on the planet. Today, more than 7 billion are currently alive, a whopping 6.5 percent of the total.

Death and the Environment

In India, followers of Zoroastrian Parsi have long been accustomed to leaving their loved ones' bodies for the vultures after they have passed. Unfortunately, the vulture population has taken a hit in the past several years, and the local vulture population is 99 percent diminished. While other birds of prey will eat the bodies, the vultures are far more efficient, taking a few hours to accomplish what crows and other birds take days to do. One of the issues is that the other birds cannot tolerate the sun as well as the vultures.

Why We Die, Part II

Humans play a large role in their own deaths. While they may not always be directly responsible for their end, some specifically human actions and behaviors are often at work. Access to medical advancements is also a key to avoiding premature death. Some examples:

  • Heart disease. It's the number one killer worldwide, in part due to genetics, in larger part to cheeseburgers and cigarettes.
  • Car crashes. These are the primary cause of death in young people living in the US.
  • In developing countries, childbirth is a significant cause of death in young women.

Science After Death

"Corpse wax," or adipocere, is a substance that develops on some bodies after death and covers the skin, sometimes preserving it for years. While skin cells can live for up to 24 hours after death, toenails and fingernails do not actually continue to grow. Instead, the skin around them desiccates and shrinks, making them look as if they have grown. Livor mortis, which causes red and purple discoloration of the skin, starts to set in in about 20 minutes. Rigor mortis, which contracts the muscles, begins after three to four hours and releases after around 36 hours.

More Math and Science

Each second, half as many people die as are born. Chinese people make up 9.5 million of the 55 million of deaths per year. Each year, out of every one thousand people, eight die.

Autolysis is the process by which the body uses its digestive juices to effectively digest its own organs. Jellyfish do not die of old age. Forensics labs can study the kind of insects that inhabit a body to establish a time of death. In healthy individuals, 50 billion anatomical cells will die every day.

An Endless Fascination

Many old funeral traditions are giving way to individualized services and to the parts of saying goodbye that people can control. While there remain many areas of the end of life that people cannot control, humans maintain an ongoing interest in what exactly happens when we die.

Category: Get Ordained Funeral

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