Once dead, people do not become static corpses. It is not that your nails or your hair continue to grow (this is a myth propagated because, when dried, the flesh retracts and leaves the nails and hair more visible, giving the impression that it has grown), but that it's about the whole body travels significantly.
The decomposition process could be responsible for the movements: as the body mummifies, the ligaments dry and cause the parts to move, as suggested by a new study carried out by Australian researchers.
Before there were microscopes for microbes, there were already some people who intuited their existence, such as the Roman author Marco Terencio Varrón, which in 36 a. C. believed in the existence of small invisible organisms: "certain tiny creatures are raised that the eyes cannot see, which float in the air and enter the body through the mouth and nose and cause serious diseases there." When these invisible creatures for the human eye were finally discovered, the real reasons for food deteriorating over time, for wounds to suppurate, for corpses to rot or for infectious diseases to occur were clarified.
Human corpses move significantly as they decompose, according to an Australian researcher who observed a corpse for a period of 17 months, Alyson Wilson. This can translate into, for example, arms attached to the body may end up away from him. In this process, in part, some microbes and insects contribute
But, even without the activity of insects, the body softens and releases and will change with gravity and local pressures. The microbial action can also favor some movement. All this was already known, but it begins to be studied systematically for the first time.
This finding was made after Wilson filmed a donor's body using a timelapse camera in a "human body farm" known as the Australian Facility for Experimental Taphonomic Research (AFTER), which is located in a secret place on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia. Wilson filmed the body during 30-minute intervals during the 17-month study period.
AFTER is the only facility of this type in the southern hemisphere. It is dedicated to the study of human remains in order to shed new light on the process of human decomposition. Until the arrival of AFTER, most of the science on how bodies decompose was based on experiments in the northern hemisphere, where the weather is different, and also insects and other creatures involved in the decomposition process.
The findings could help police estimate the time of death of a body more accurately, according to Wilson. It could also help improve autopsies.