1. Your Brain Continues To Function…
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A Tik Toker has recently revealed this shocking fact about death: “Did you know that when you die, your brain keeps trucking and appears to know that you’re dead.” Researchers have found that brain might actually continue to function briefly after death.
2. Sometimes For Several Minutes!
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And sometimes this can be for several minutes rather than just a brief second. For example, if you die from a heart problem, your brain continues to function and in some instances your brain has enough liquid after death to continue firing for around several minutes.
3. And Then Gets Discoloured
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This is quite a commonly known act. But after death, the skin on your body will change colours. And it will continue to keep on changing. First, the body will urn pale and then it will turn green – starting first from the abdomen. Then it becomes purplish-red in paces where the blood pools together.
4. You May Seem To Exhale
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The body after death may not always just be silent and still. It may actually appear to exhale. This of course is not a true exhale but something that resembles it. This is due tot he gases inside the body which cause this to happen. It does not always happen however.
6. You Might Make A Groan
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When you die, your body has a tonne of processes that are happening inside your body. And, these are not always silent. if the body is being moved or something such as embalming is happening, the body may actually seem to moan or groan as the air releases from the body.
7. Your Nails And Hair Appear To Grow
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Another thing that happens is your hair and nails appear to grow. It is a misconception that they do truly grow. The (what appears to be) lengthening of the hair and nails is because the skin and scalp dry out and it exposing more of the hair and the nail underneath.
8. Your Body Releases Gas
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As the bacteria in your body starts to decompose your digestive system, your body could start to release air and gases, which will come out through any opening in your body, for example, your mouth. These air releases which of course, will smell disgusting…
9. All The Muscles Will Relax
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When we live, our muscles and things in our body such as sphincters are always never fully relaxed – even in our sleep. But, when you die they do. All of your muscles in your body totally relax so that your body has no control over anything anymore.
10…Causing Faeces And Urine To Release
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And so of course, it means that we have no control over the liquids in our bodies – or the urine and faeces that are stored in our bodies. This means that once the muscles and sphincters release, the urine and the faeces inevitably leak out of our body.
11. The Temperature Will Drop
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Our warm body temperature as we know is a sign of life. After our body dies this temperature starts to drop. And although a dead body is often described as cold, the temperature of the natural dead body is always room temperature, but it feels cold in comparison.
12. The Internal Organs Will Produce Two Chemicals
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The internal organs inside the body when the body dies produce two chemicals. These chemicals are called putrescine and cadaverine. The death process leads to a lot of chemicals being released from the body, chemicals that would never be produced during life.
13. Which Will Make The Body Emit A Terrible Odour
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These chemicals do not come odour free. In fact putrescine and cadaverine are part of the reason a dead body smells so bad. The smell they emit from the body it putrid. But, there is nothing that can be done to stop it as it is a natural part of the process.
14. The Body Will Stiffen
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This is common knowledge that the body stiffens up in death. There is a process called rigor mortis. The rigor mortis happens where the stiffness takes over each limb until the whole body is stiff and immoveable. This process does not happen to every single body, but it can be common.
15. Some Body Parts Last Longer
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Some parts of the body last longer than others. They do not all decompose and decay at the same rate of time. For example, the stomach is one of the first things to start decomposing due to all of the chemicals and bacteria in the stomach, gut and intestines.
16. The Body Starts To Digest Itself
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Essentially, as gruesome as it sounds, the body starts to digest itself and eat itself from inside out. As your cells begin to break down, they are digested by enzymes and bacteria within your body. This is a process that can start quickly, depending on the cause of your death.
17. The Fats In Your Body Into Soap
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This fact sounds very strange but it is actually true. What happens is when bodies are left in a cool and damp environment, often a chemical process occurs during decomposition that is called adipocere. Where, it turns the fat into…essentially soap.
18. The Eyes Dry Out
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When the body dies, the liquid drains out of the body. So, there is no more liquid to preserve the yes, meaning that the eyes dry out. This is why the eyes are usually closed as the first thing, because they are one of the first things to start decomposing.
19. They May Turn Blue Or Grey
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This drying out of the eyes makes things look very different. No mater that your eye colour was previously…they will turn a grey or blue colour. This does not always happen, it depends how the body is being treated or whether the yes were closed immediately.
20. The Majority Of The Body Decomposes Within Months
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At 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes about four months for your soft tissue to decompose—but at higher temperatures, you can go much faster, according to Dr. Lachman. Soon, you’ll be a skeleton, cartilage, and bits of dried skin.
21. The Body Bloats
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Another thing that happens to the body during death is that it may bloat. This is part of the human decomposition process. This is because of leaked enzymes which begin to produce gases. The, due to the gases, the human body can double in size making the body look extremely bloated.
22. Blood Can Leak From The Nose
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It is a possibility that during death the processes within the internal body will cause blood to leak from the nose. this blood also contains a foam like substance. Things leak from the orifices of the body in death. This does not happen to every single body.
23. The Body Turns From Green To Red
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So as we discussed, the body initially turns green after death. But then after a while the body turns from green and then to a red colour. This is because the blood decomposes and the organs in the abdomen accumulate gas giving the red appearance to the body.
24. Nails And Teeth Fall Out
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Because the muscles and everything in our body relaxes and things start to decay and decompose, things such as nails and teeth will start to fall out. This takes place around several weeks after the body has died, the nails then quickly disintegrate.
25. The Body Will Liquify
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Now this is a horrifying thought. But of course, after the body has been dead for a while, everything has started to decay and decompose. And in fact, around one month later the body will actually start to liquify as a part of the decomposition process.
26. The Immune System Shuts Down
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Our immune system is what helps us fight infections and illness. Of course, when we die our immune system will shut down. This is one of the first things to happen. Different parts of the immune system will shut down first. And slowly…all of it will start to shut down.
27. The Body May Blister
Image Source: NHS
Another thing that happens to the body when you die is that the skin may potentially blister all over the body. The blood rising to the surface of the skin it causes blisters to appear all over the skin surface. This does not happen to everybody but in some instances it will occur.
28. Your Body Attracts Insects
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It is natural that anything decaying attracts insects. If left to decay naturally this of course is much more intense for example maggots along with flies. But, even if the body is protected at a funeral home there are still of course flies which inevitably will be attracted to the body.
29. The Body May Be Embalmed
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If the body is being embalmed then this involves a multitude of processes inside the body. The organs for example will all be removed. Chemicals and colouring will be inserted into the body. The body will be disinfected and eye caps will be places under the eye lids.
30. It All Depends On The Person
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The process of death of course happens in a similar way for every body. But these processes vary according to age, gender, body weight and even the time and environment of the body. In some circumstances the body may stiffen or decompose at a quicker rate than others for example.
So, what actually happens to the actual body once you die? 1. First the body is transferred
When someone dies, the body has to be transferred to the morticians. For example if the person was at hospital or a nursing home then body is driven to an morticians. But if the circumstances are not as clear then first the body has to be taken to the coroners before entering the morticians to discern how they died.
2. They check the body for any disease
One of the first steps after retrieving the body is to check it for anything in particular. This could be anything from a pace maker to whether the body has a disease, or whether any fluids are coming from the body. This is because depending on the body, it will have to be treated in a different way.
3. They place the body onto a tray and wheel it into the fridge
After assessing the body, it is then loaded onto a mortuary tray which can be metal or plastic, with wheels so that it can be easily transferred into the fridge. Then, the body is placed straight into the fridge as soon as possible so that it stops it from decomposing quickly.
4. The body is elevated to stop ‘purging’
The head is placed higher than the rest of the body to avoid what is called in the mortician process as ‘purging’. Purging refers to “leakage” from the mouth or the nose. The fluids that leak out can be for example, from blood or bile and so this is avoided where possible.
5. They remove the clothes
The clothes on the body of course have to be removed, which of course can take some work depending on how the person was dressed when they sadly died. Their clothes are carefully stored away and then they re-dress the body with a gown resembling those from hospital.
6. Then the body is cleaned
Of course another essential step is that the body is cleaned. This varies for each person depending on the state of the body. In most cases it does not require much of a cleaning process, but some bodies are more ‘messy’ and so the cleaning has to be more thorough.
7. Underwear is the first thing to be put on
The first item of clothing to be put on is the underwear, to make sure the body is covered. Bodies are covered as soon as possible with underwear to protect the dignity and respect of the person who is deceased and also for the sake of the mortician too.
8. They place eye caps in the eyes
When someone dies, the eyes naturally sink in leaving noticeable dents in the face. And so “eye caps” are place inside the eye to prevent this. These are just small little flesh coloured disks which are inserted underneath the eye lids. They have tiny spikes on the outer side in order to hold the eyes closed.
9. Once in the coffin makeup is applied
This also depends on the situation. But, a little bit of makeup is often applied so that the person looks more like themselves and to add some colour back into the face. This is done mainly for the sake of the grieving family who may want to visit the body.
10. The nose and mouth are plugged
Because fluids naturally secrete from the nose and mouth, they are essentially plugged. This is done by taking cotton wadding and placing it down the throat as well as up the nose in order to prevent leakage so that the body can be preserved properly.
11. The mouth is tied shut
This point sounds a little bit strange and it is an idea that can sound shocking to those who are not inside the secrets of he mortician process. But it is delicately done by taking a needle and inserting i inside the throat first. Then the mouth is effectively sealed shut so that it cannot drop open.
12. The body is embalmed
The process of embalming the body varies massively as there are different kinds of embalming which involve different processes. But essentially, preservation fluids are put inside the body as well as colourants. This preserves the body and also makes it look a lot more normal again.
13. With full embalming all organs are removed
Full embalming is a much bigger and more complex process. Each and every one of the organs are removed (even including the brains), then they are scattered with a preserving powder and then everything is placed back inside the body in correct placement.
14. Sometimes nappies are applied
If the body looks in any danger of leaking, they the mortician will apply some kind of nappy to collect any fluid and prevent the body from leaking out. The mortician tries to prevent the body from leaking any fluid. And so if the body looks as though it may lose fluid in this way, a nappy is put on.
15. Embalming can take hours to days
As we mention previously, there are many typed of embalming and the different kinds take different amounts of time. For example some embalming takes a few hours but some can take up to a couple of days for the process to be finished.
16. Most of the job is dealing with the living
Again, there are a lot of misconceptions about being an mortician. One of these is that the mortician is constantly around death. But actually the majority of time according to morticians themselves, is amongst the living – the families of the deceased.
17. Larger bodies are harder to deal with
According to morticians, it is harder dealing with larger bodies – the larger it is the more difficult according to some. This is throughout the entire process from carrying the body from place to place, undressing and embalming. Because each step requires more work and takes more time.
18. Moriticians get used to the smell of decomposition
One mortician had revealed that the smell of decomposition is string, but the best thing to do is not to shy away from the smell or to mask it with another. He claimed that the best thing to do is take two big inhales, after that you adjust and get used to it.
19. The body turns green
Morticians have revealed this dark secret about the realities of dealing with bodies. It is true that bodies do turn green eventually. The process of turning green always starts first around the stomach area, and then spreads to other parts of the body.
20. You don’t need qualifications
It may sound strange because dealing with deceased bodies is a job very few have the capacity for. You would naturally think that it may require a lot of special qualifications. However that is no the case, you do not technically need qualifications to become an mortician.
21. Bodies are room temperature
There is a common assumption that bodies are cold. This is because a living bod is warm and so in comparison a body is cold. But, it is actually just room temperature. However of course when it is kept in a fridge the body is cold to touch.
23. Not all bodies have rigor-mortis
Rigor-mortis refers to a state when the limbs of a deceased body start to stiffen. It makes the body look and feel rigid and the body stays in the same position when moved. It does not happen to all bodies – even the majority – but with some it does occur.
24. Rigor mortis can be ‘broken’
But, even when bodies do have rigor-mortis it is easily stopped it does not mean it is permament. This happens by the mortician bending and moving the joints about for a while. The body then comes out its state rigor-mortis so that it then becomes more moveable again.
25. Being a mortician can be very messy
This again is very dependent. Because a lot of the time, the body will not be messy and the job is not messy at all.Sometimes in certain cases there is a lot of mess, which is sometimes inevitable. But, the morticians are geared up in protective clothing.
26. There is a lot of paperwork
Of course when having such a sensitive job there comes a lot of paperwork. Their records have to show the name of the deceased and their date of death as well as their age at the time of death. Also the place the body was transferred from and the date this happened. Also,, who was responsible for the transfer along with any valuables attached to the person.
27. bodies are kept at 3 and 5 degrees celsius
There is a very precise temperature that you can keep bodies at. This is between 3 and 5 degrees celsius. So the fridges are set between this temperature. Any lower and the body would start to freeze. Any higher and the body would start to decay and decompose more rapidly.
28. They form funghi if kept in the fridge too long
Morticians have revealed this secret.If you leave a body in a fridge too long, a certain fungi will grow on it. The fungus is either orange or white and not found anywhere else other than a body when it is in those conditions. Out of the fridge, the fungus does not appear.
29. It is not a ‘morbid’ job
It has a very morbid reputation, and it is certainly understandable why people assume that it must be a very depressing job to have. But, according to morticians they clarify that it is not in fact a morbid job. Some even go as far to say it is just the same as any normal job.
30. Trying to avoid the smell makes it worse
Morticians have claimed that the more you try and avoid the smell – the worse it us.These tricks such as playing some toothpaste under your nostrils or trying not to breathe much actually only make the smell last longer than if you just don’t try at all.
31. They Use Normal Minivans
There is a misconception that bodies are collected and transported using a hearse. But these are rarely used, these are mainly for ceremonial purposes alone. So actually it is usually just ordinary mini van so that t is not obvious to the rest of the world what is happening.
32. Setting The Expression Is One Of The Most Important Things
To a grieving family, some comfort comes by looking at the peaceful expression on the face of their deceased loved one. But this takes a lot of work. The features have to be set in place it does not happen naturally which most people tend to assume…
33. Sometimes Superglue Is Used
This is a horrifying thought, to think of superglue being used on a body. But according to Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, mortician Caitlin Doughty reveals: “If the usual methods of setting the features aren’t sufficient to keep the eyes closed or the mouth shut, superglue is a secret weapon.”
34. Or A Hair Tie…
Mortician Amy Cunningham revealed in an interview another method of achieving the expected look: “If you need to keep a deceased person’s hands folded neatly at their abdomen, but their arms keep falling down into the sides of the casket, you can gently bind their thumbs with a ponytail tie.”
35. Protective Caskets Aren’t A Great Idea
Protective caskets are sold under the guise of protecting the body from any outside factors, for example any of the outside penetrating in such as the earth or insects. But actually, it makes the inside a breeding ground for bacteria and encourages the inside to rot away.
36. Sometimes Caskets Explode
Sometimes caskets explode. This is because of the buildup of methane gas can cause what people in the industry call “exploding casket syndrome”. The gas builds up util the pressure reaches a point where the gas will literally make the casket explode open. And so they have to be unsealed regularly.
37. Pace Makers Can Also Explode
Pace makers can cause damage to the cremation machine because of the batteries inside of them. This is why it is so important for the undertaker to make sure the remove them in the first instance so that they are not still present during the cremation.
38. They Use Rose Coloured Lighting
Morticians use rose coloured lighting to give the appearance of pinky rosy flesh, rather than grey. Which of course is partially achieved by the staining of the flesh but sometime it is not enough and so the rosy coloured lighting helps to create this illusions too.
39. One Embalming Can Generate 120 Gallons Of Waste
It sounds like a shocking statistic but around 120 gallons of waste are produced from an embalming. These include things such as blood, fecal matter, and the contents of the internal organs, as well as any chemicals that have been added which have been released from the body.
40. Everything Goes Down The Drain
What is even perhaps more shocking that realising just how much waste is produced from one embalming, is realising that it goes straight down the drain.And no, not a hazardous waste drain just the usual drain which we use daily. It is an uncomfortable thought.
41. Embalmers Are Exposed To Dangerous Chemicals
Morticians and those ding the embalming are actually at health risks because of the dangerous and toxic chemicals that they work with on a daily basis. These chemicals have been linked to health problems so they have to be very careful when handling them.
42. You Can’t Be Buried Under A Tree
It is a dream of many to be buried under a tree. But it is not actually possible. A body must be buried at least four feet from a tree to protect its root system and the health of the tree. So the idea of being buried under a tree is not actually viable, but quite close.
43. Some Don’t Agree With Preserving The Body
Some people and some morticians actually do not like the idea of preserving the body or embalming. One mortician thinks hat a body should look dead, rather than being falsely presented. One reason for this is to help the family come to terms with it and deal with it.
44. There Is A Tradition To Bury Children At Cost
The death of a baby or child is so tragic that it is a general rule that funeral homes will do the service at cost due to the heartbreaking nature of the case. There are also charities which work with funeral homes to provide things for free for the family dealing with their loss.
45. Breast Implants Usually Melt
If somebody is cremated with breast implants, they will melt inside of the cremation machine. Breast implants are one of those things which are often not removed, and so of course they melt down inside the cremation machine which does not cause too much damage.
46. And Other’s Will Be Melted Down
Things like hip replacements etc can be requested by the family to be kept. But, this rarely happens and so instead they are melted down with other plastics and used to make things such as road signs. They are removed as they cannot be burned with the ashes due to it being plastic.
47. Some Morticians Hire Dogs
In some funeral homes they employ dogs. Therapy dogs are a great comforter and a great way for those who are grieving to cope with loss. They are the best companions and there are chemicals released when you spend close contact with a dog or animal that relieve stress.
48. They Cover The Legs Because Shoes Are Difficult To Put On
You may have noticed that morticians cover the legs of the deceased. This is because the feet often do not have shoes on. They are difficult to place on because the feet have stiffened. Although this is not the only reason, there are other things such as for religious reasons.
49. There Are More Environmentally Friendly Ways
Caskets and funerals in general as well as embalming are not good for the planet.But there are ways to make it more friendlier to the earth if that is your intention. For example if you use a rental casket the body is then buried in something similar to a cardboard box which decomposes better.
50. Don’t Get Ashes In A Temporary Container
When you have the ashes returned to you, make sure you ask the crematory before the return to transfer the ashes in a plain metal or plastic container. Otherwise they give you the ashes in a container which has temporary stamped on it as a way to get you to buy a more expensive urn
51. Sometimes Denture Adhesive Is Used To Put The Skull Back Together
Once the skull has been taken apart it has to be put back together again and sometimes morticians will use denture adhesive to literally glue the cracks back together again and place the skull back as one. There are different methods to do this.
52. Sometimes Morticians Knew The Person
Being a mortician is a calling- it is a hard job anyway. Never mind if they actually knew the person. This is very hard for the mortician when dealing with a body that they had a personal connection t. Even if that connection was not particularly close.
53. They Sometimes Have Strange Requests
Families or loved ones of the deceased have been known to request some very particular and sometimes highly unusual things when they are having their loved one buried. And sometimes the deceased person has made these requests themselves, such as some insist on wearing spandex.
54. Sometimes They Have To Reattach The Whole Head
Of course people die in many different ways. And sometimes sadly the circumstanced and condition of the body is very horrifying. There are occasions where the deceased has to have their whole head reattached to their body for the embalming process and funeral process.
55…Which Takes A Lot Of Work
And this is definitely not easy to do. It requires a LOT of work – hours to be able to reattach the head back to the body and make it appear as though it was never separated in the first place. It takes a lot of equipment and time to be able to accomplish this.
56. Dehydrated Bodies Look Very Different
Sometimes bodies are extremely dehydrated- not often, but when they are it is very apparent. In fact, they look entirely different to bodies that are hydrated. But, this is reversed when the fluids are inserted into the body during embalming the body.
57. Blood Settles When You Die
Blood settles when you die and so depending on the position of the body when he person dies, the blood will settle there. This makes sense when you take into consideration of how liquids simply work but the effect when somebody has died can have a strange effect and look.
58. So It Swells Where The Person Died
For example if the body is on its side, then one side of the body swells with the blood and one side of the body sort of drains… According to morticians it can look very odd. In fact one revealed how all the blood in one mans body had gone to the side of his face.
59. Sometimes They Have To Reconstruct The Face
Again, death can be horrifying and there are lots of different ways that make the body look different in different circumstances. For example accidents may happen where damage is caused to the face. This requires the mortician to reconstruct the face.
60. And They Use Modelling Clay
To do this you would probably not guess how. But one way thy actually manage to achieve this is using modelling clay. To literally try and rebuild some of the facial features which have been disjointed or damaged in any way and make the face look more peaceful again.
61. Larger Bodies May Have To Buy Two Cemetery Plots
We have already discussed how there is a different process for different sized bodies. But it also affects the cemetery plots. If the person was larger the family or loved ones may actually have to purchase two cemetery plots rather than one for the coffin to fit.
62. During The Autopsy The Organs Are Held In A Bucket
During an autopsy all of the organs are removed from the body. They are held in a bucket to store them until the work is done on the body that needs to be completed. Because of course, the organs are needed again to be put back inside of the body.
63. That Is Filled With Cavity Fluid
The bucket where the organs are kept is filled with cavity fluid. This is a liquid which is a higher concentration of the embalming fluid that is injected into the vascular system. This means that the organs will be preserved whilst they remain outside of the body.
64. Vessels Have To Be Severed
There is a lot of gory detail when it comes to the secrets of a mortician. And as we know, lots of things from the body have to be removed, sewn, cut…and all sorts of other things. Another of these horrifying concepts is the fact that the vessels in the body have to be severed.
65. And Then They Are Tied
Then they are not just severed and left. They are tied up. This is also to stop the vessels leaking where they have been severed. By tying them up the liquid cannot escape and cause leakages which as we now know is something morticians want to prevent.
66. Then They Inject And Drain Them
Then that is not the end of that process. As with everything in the process it is intricate and lengthy. So the mortician then has to inject the vessel and then drain them. Again, this is so that the liquid from inside cannot escape through the body.
67. And Then They Are Disinfected
Then…they are disinfected after being drained. Everything during the morticians process is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Of course because the body is being preserved everything has to be as clean as possible and so even the vessels are disinfected.
68. Part Of The Skull Was Sawn Off
Part of the skull has to be sawn off so that the brain can be removed (if the body is being embalmed). This sounds horrifying but it is so that everything can be cleaned and placed back to where it was. The skull then needs putting back so that the body has a normal shape again.
69. Skin Is Pulled Back Over The Head
Then of course the skin has been cut and disrupted from he skull being sawn and the brain being removed. So the skin then needs to be pulled back over the head very carefully and attached as it was before so that it looks as though it has never been touched.
70. It Can Be Closed With A Needle Injector And Pins
Of course the skull needs placing back together. One was this can be done is using the needle injector which we have discussed previously. This essentially allows the pins to hold the skull back into place so that it can be tied down and appear as though it has not been disturbed.