The period shortly after death seems to be a strange thing. During this time, the body has undergone various changes, from being alive to being completely dead. Although some of these changes (such as hardening and discoloration) can be seen in crime TV shows, other changes seem far-fetched for the human body.
Nonetheless, what the corpse can do is shocking and creepy. From the birth of the awareness of death, the changes in the body after death are almost unrealistic and impossible to achieve. The following list is not suitable for the faint-hearted or those with stomach problems.
Stories of dead bodies sitting straight up have been told for many years—yet the probability of such drastic movement occurring is slim to none. The body can, however, make slight movements after death. Though the movements do not resemble ones that a person would do while alive, they can still be startling for those around them.
Cadavers can do such things as twitch, move, and even clench muscles. This occurs because the body’s muscles are still receiving nerve signals to contract or even relax, causing the corpse to appear as if it is moving despite being dead. Once the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is depleted, the body will make its final movements, which can be seen in fingers clenching, hands moving, toes wiggling, and muscles twitching. Another factor in strange movements is how the person died. If there is excess calcium, a temperature change, or, in some cases, violent death or even electrocution, the body can demonstrate such movements.
This process normally occurs between the time of death and rigor mortis, so if anyone tells you they’ve seen a body sit up, they’re probably just trying to get a rise out of you.