No one wants to talk about death. In fact, just by saying the word death, you can get goosebumps. However, researchers across the world in their own fields have studied it from their own perspectives. Following are five research results that you would want to know about death.
1-Decaying human body smells (sickly) sweet
What the stench of death is like? A latest study found that the smell of human decomposition resembles five esters, organic compounds that react with water to produce alcohols and acids. Interestingly, they are also produced by rotten fruits. Forensic scientists or morticians, familiar with the smell, often report a ‘sickly sweet’ smell when describing corpses.
2-Nails won’t keep growing, hair just looks longer
Have you heard that our nails and hair keep growing for a while even after we die? This perception is wrong. The truth is since the rest of our bodies shrink due to dehydration, the nails and hair just look longer. Actually, hair and nails are already dead with the only living parts of the hair follicle and nail matrix under the skin.
3-Telomere length predicts lifespan?
We always thought cells would go on replicating after death, but after 50 to 70 divisions, they would stop. Then came telomeres – repeated DNA sequences at the ends of chromosomes – shorten with every division, and when they get shortest, divisions stop and the cells die. There has been a debate that telomere length can predict lifespan. If it does, then we may lengthen lifespans by changing their length. However, we still know less about telomeres to do this.
4-The fear of death fades away with age
A lot of old people don’t fear death and studies in the United States have also proved this. A study found people in their 40s and 50s, expressed more fears of death than those in their 60s and 70s. Another study said people in 60s reported less death anxiety than those in middle age (35-50 years) and young adults (18-25 years).
5-Thinking about death makes us prejudiced
Studies suggest thinking about death makes us want to adopt symbolic immortality, the vicarious living on through our offspring or through groups we identify with. It also makes people tolerant of racists; harsher toward prostitutes; less willing to consume foreign goods; and even makes liberals less supportive of LGBT rights. It also makes people want to have more children and to name them after themselves.