A land of about one hectare in the vicinity of the city of Knoxville, in the United States, wants to be the largest testing ground for human bodies at different stages of decomposition. It is not a landscape for a serial killer, but a way to study thoroughly under what conditions and how the bodies are decomposed.
It is not the only one, although there are very few fields like this: there are only six in the US, two in Australia and one in the Netherlands. Your names: taphonomy centers, the part of paleontology that studies the processes of fossilization and the formation of fossil deposits ...
The art of decomposition
The study of the decomposition of human bodies is not trivial: unresolved police cases could benefit greatly from the information obtained in these study centers.
And it is that the rate at which the decomposition of a corpse takes place is affected by various variables, such as temperature and humidity, as well as the method that the homicide uses to get rid of the body.
While there have been many studies on these processes with pig tissues and other animals, nor it is the same as studying the process of decomposition in the human body itself, so that not so much useful data is obtained.
Among other data, for example, it has been found that more than 400 different volatile organic compounds are released during the process of decomposition of the human body, according to a study carried out by a team of scientists from the University of Leuven ( Belgium). The research has been published in the magazine Plos One. Specifically, the "corpse smell" is formed by 452 volatile organic compounds (with only 5 compounds of difference with respect to the pig and only 8 of the rest of animals).
The chemical reactions that occur in your body after your death also produce compounds of fun names, such as putrescine (which generates smell in rotten meat) and cadaverine (smell of decaying corpses).
To these odors you can also add others, like the smell of excrement. Because, even three hours after death, human beings can expel fecal matter and flatulence resulting from muscle contraction and swelling of the corpse prior to rigor mortis.
Everything is for the next Sherlock Holmes to find the killer.