Death might seem pretty straightforward – after-all it is essentially nothing more than a book-end to your life meaning that there isn’t really much you can do beyond that point or much that can happen. Death is when your heart stops beating… what else is there to know?
Well actually there’s plenty to know and you’d be surprised just what a fascinating topic this is once you get down to it. Read on and we’ll look at some truly amazing facts you probably didn’t know about death…
1 Death is Hard to Define
Everything you think you know about death is wrong – including the ‘when your heart stops beating’ part. Of course you can live long after your heart has stopped beating if you get resuscitated or if you are put on mechanical life-support. So how do you define death?
Actually it’s a topic for much debate and while the most common answer is that it’s ‘when you stop showing brain activity’ the precise definition is something that experts are still arguing about.
2 Death is Defined Differently in Different States
In fact death is so hard to define that different countries and states define it differently. What that means is that you could be legally ‘dead’ in one state, have someone drag you across the border, and then technically be ‘alive’ again. Now that’s a remarkable resurrection!
3 You Can Live With No Head
Or technically no body… Because speaking of brain activity, it turns out that the human head remains conscious for around 15-20 seconds after a decapitation. It’s grim, but also pretty amazing! The reason of course is that you will still have enough oxygen and blood in your brain to live for those few seconds. Meanwhile one headless chicken is known to have lived for over two years as it still had enough of a brain-stem left to continue the basic brain functions required for staying alive.
4 The Last Sense to Go
So if you were beheaded you’d get to see your headless body for a couple of seconds before dying – pretty shocking! What about normal death? Well in that case the last sense to go would be your hearing, so after you’d stopped being able to see you’d hear a few lingering sounds before sinking into oblivion.
5 Your Hair Doesn’t Really Keep Growing
Have you ever heard the ‘fact’ that your hair keeps on growing after you die? Actually that’s a myth – it keeps getting longer yes, but that’s only because your skin recedes after death thus exposing more of the hair.
6 Egyptians Really Loved Their Cats
Death doesn’t just affect people of course – it also affects animals which can often leave their owners almost as grief stricken. Back in Ancient Egypt this was even more of a huge deal among cat owners who would shave off their eyebrows in honour of their deceased felines and who would actually mummify their pets!
If you want to remember your pets today consider cremation instead – it’s less creepy for visitors.
7 Pets Have Been Successfully Cloned
If you thought the Egyptians were a little extreme though, then consider that in the US some people have successfully managed to clone their pets as a way to bring them back from death’s icy grip. That’s right – commercial cloning for pets is already a reality, although you’ll need to be pretty rich as the first couple to do it paid $155,000 for the privilege and the company responsible has since closed down. The pooch goes by the name of ‘Sir Lancelot’.