19 Unsettling Facts About Death That'll Make You Uneasy

🚨The following contains disturbing content. Please read along at your own discretion!🚨Also, not all submissions are from Community users.

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which weird facts about death freak them out the most. Here are the strange and gross results:

1.Your body will most likely make a loud groaning noise — after you’ve already died.


When air and gases left in a corpse start to escape through the throat and nose, they could make the vocal cords vibrate, resulting in a noise that sounds like a groan. Can you imagine working in a funeral home and hearing this for the first time? No thanks!!!

—beckywarner

2.In the 1800s, photographing posed dead bodies was a very normal practice.

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Photos were a luxury at this time, so if someone passed away before getting a photo taken during their life, this was their only opportunity to be captured in a still. As photography in general became more common, this practice of taking photos of the dead became less common.

—angelav45d8cf1a3

3.There is a slight chance you could die from spontaneously combusting.

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Stories about people bursting into flames while minding their own business date back hundreds of years, though there are only a handful of reported cases, and the possibility of it has never been 100% confirmed.

—samsamosa

4.Thousands of people die every year due to doctors’ sloppy handwriting on prescriptions.


According to a 2006 study done by the National Academies of Science’s Institute of Medicine, illegible dosages and abbreviations of drug names have led to millions of injuries and thousands of deaths.

5.Forensic scientists can tell when, and sometimes how, someone has died by looking at the types of insects that have begun to gather in and around a dead body.


From the moment a person dies, insects become attracted to the decaying body. Forensic etymologists are able to determine time and cause of death based on the stages of larvae, insect behavior, and more.

6.Your eyeballs will flatten soon after you die…


One mortician described this flattening of the eyeball to that of an old grape that looks deflated. To keep eyes looking plump during funeral services, eye caps are often placed under the eyelid to keep the shape of what the eyeball looked like in a lifelike state.

7.…and your eye color will most likely change soon after that, before your eyeball has completely decomposed.


According to a 2008 study, the eyeballs of blue-eyed corpses turned to brown or black within 48 to 72 hours of death when in room temperature. Pathologists and crime scene investigators have learned to make note of this, so as not to make incorrect notes while performing autopsies or misidentify victims.

—katiekinssw

8.Speaking of eyes, crime investigators used to believe that the image of a murderer could be captured in a victim’s eyes — kind of like film on a camera — and stay there after they’ve died.


Up until the 20th century, investigators would dissect victims’ eyes after death to try to find the image, which would hopefully have been stored somewhere in the eyeball. Obviously today we know that’s not possible.

—j4c7a15264

9.It is absolutely possible to die from “fatal water overdose,” aka from drinking too much water.


Officially known as hyponatremia, this kind of death happens when sodium levels fall incredibly low. In 2007, one woman drank six liters in three hours for a contest to win a Nintendo Wii, threw up, and died hours later. Overhydration has killed many athletes as well.

—schulzemary214

10.The top leading causes of death include heart disease, accidental poisoning, and car accidents.


Yeah, you read that right: accidental poisoning.

11.Some people suffer from a real syndrome where they believe they are already dead, or that they don’t exist at all.

Cotard Delusion is named after neurologist Jules Cotard, and the syndrome is currently in the DSM-5, the official handbook to mental illness diagnoses. It’s also known as “walking corpse syndrome,” and is believed to be caused by lesions in the brain.

—laureng4a026dda5

12.If a body is left to decompose in consistently 50-degree weather, it can reach a skeletal state in as little as four months.

For reference, bodies usually take about a year to get to this stage in the decomposition process in normal conditions.

13.Forensic scientists can easily tell if a person either drowned or was killed and dumped in a body of water by simply looking inside their lungs.


If someone drowned, their lungs will be filled with water and they will have floated to the bottom of wherever the body is, but if their body has been dumped, their lungs will still have air in them and they’ll be floating.

14.A corpse can bloat and swell up to almost double in size within a few days of dying, due to a buildup of gases in the body during decomposition.

15.Your remains can be turned into a vinyl record, a diamond, or even a tree after you’ve died.


Many companies exist to make no-longer living bodies useful after they have lived a human being’s life. Urns are old-fashioned, anyway (just kidding — do whatever you’d like).

16.When a body decays in water, a substance that looks like soap buildup can slowly form on the body, called “corpse wax.”


Adipocere is a soapy-looking substance that a body’s fat turns into when a body starts to decay in water, which is both fascinating me and creepy.

—fritzmariak

17.Your hair and nails will appear to keep growing a little bit after you die.

They won’t *actually* keep growing, but due to the skin retracting from dehydration, it will give the illusion that they are getting longer.

—badwolf405

18.In rare instances, women who died while pregnant can still give birth… well, sort of.

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Coffin birth — officially known as “postmortem fetal extrustion” — is what happens when gases build up in the abdomen of a pregnant corpse, forcing the dead child through the vaginal opening. There have only been two reported cases of this happening in the last decade, but it’s happened.

—kristinscaddens

19.And finally, it is likely that your body will twitch or sit up in a seemingly lifelike way even after you’ve died.

As tissues in the body die, they can experience something called a “cavaderic spasm,” causing movements that look very similar to reflexes. While these spasms happen rarely, they can look like little twitches or big movements. This is not the same thing as rigor mortis, though it is similar and often hard to differentiate.

—fritzmariak

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