Here's what happens to your body after you die

Each one of us will shuffle off this mortal coil at some point. What happens next is a fascinating — if frightening — natural process.

After your heart stops beating, your body slowly begins to decay without preservation techniques like embalming or mummification.

It starts small, down at the cellular level. Then bacteria, animals, and even the body itself begins to digest your organs and tissues.

Here’s how the complete process of decay plays out.

Sources: Nature (1), Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (2), Microbiology Today (3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11), EPEC Participant’s Handbook (5, 6), BMJ, Australian Museum (10), Decomposition of Human Remains (12)

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