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View Full Version : How long before you can see or smell decay?



Mumut
02-05-2009, 10:24 AM
My MC is in a spell-induced death-like coma. Her coffin is opened to see if the body is still there, after reports of a spirit like apparition spreading havoc through the enemy. There is no sign of decay although, by then, there should have been. How long would that have taken?

HoraceJames
02-05-2009, 04:40 PM
The stages of decomposition: http://www.deathonline.net/decomposition/decomposition/index.htm

Depends on conditions - embalmed or not, temperature, humidity, etc.

GeorgeK
02-05-2009, 05:58 PM
Depends on conditions - embalmed or not, temperature, humidity, etc.

Exactly, plus it would also depend upon the circumstances regarding death. The chronically ill can have the smell of death while they are still walking around.

Brutal Mustang
02-05-2009, 06:06 PM
The stages of decomposition: http://www.deathonline.net/decomposition/decomposition/index.htm

Depends on conditions - embalmed or not, temperature, humidity, etc.

I should not have clicked on that. I really should not have clicked on that.

HeronW
02-05-2009, 07:40 PM
*pats BM on the hand, there there*

Certain coma/drug OD situations can reduce the heartbeat/respiration to extremely low, & some yoga adepts can induce trance-like states that can approximate death. Many decades back, (EA Poe: The Oblong Box, Fall of the House of Usher) the fear of being entombed/buried alive was so great due to comas, a line was affixed to the inside of the coffin/tomb and there to the main house where if the person believed dead wasn't--s/he could pull the bell and summon help.

Also, these states may or may not include control of the sphincters and one thought dead/in a coma may void themselves whilst out of it--or in fear of being buried alive--upon awakening in the coffin.

Red-Green
02-05-2009, 09:09 PM
Of course, several Catholic saints are reputed not to have decayed at all.