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.
Tall tales have been told of bodies exploding from the inside out. Though this may seem a bit far-fetched, it isn’t too far from the truth—in a way.
Spontaneous human combustion has been an explanation for many of these tales, but the reality is a bit different. When a body dies, its temperature usually drops. In some cases, the temperature actually increases, which is referred to as “postmortem hyperthermia.” This continuous increase in temperature can be caused by different things, from drugs to trauma to even signals in the brain before death. The body can continue to grow hotter, but the likelihood of actual combustion is low, as the temperature will begin to drop back down as the corpse goes into the regular stages of decomposition.
Still, there have been cases of bodies exploding—although spontaneous human combustion isn’t responsible. What happens is that, as a body begins to break down after death, the gases inside (the same ones that can cause moaning and groaning) have to escape. The gases’ continuous buildup can lead to an “explosion” of bodily remains.
This rarely happens. In January 2013, however, a corpse did explode in a mausoleum in Melbourne. Those visiting the mausoleum bore witness to the event—and the smell. The experience was enough to traumatize witnesses and ensure that better precautions were taken to avoid another such incident.