10 Strange Facts About Death

It might not be the happiest subject, but it’s definitely a fascinating one

1. In Madagascar, the Malagasy people dig up the bones of loved ones and dance with them. The celebration, practiced every seven years, is known as famadihana or “the turning of the bones.”

2. Contrary to popular belief, your fingernails and toenails don’t keep growing after death. The skin around them contracts, giving the appearance of growth.

3. Zoroastrians are famous for their “laying out the dead” tradition where, instead of being buried, corpses are laid out on a purpose-built tower to be exposed to sunlight and eaten by vultures.

4. The Cotard delusion, also known as walking corpse syndrome, is a mental illness in which the sufferer thinks they are dead.

5. Throughout history, 33 Popes have died violent deaths. 

6. There are more than 200 dead bodies on Mount Everest.

7.  The Turritopsis Dohrnii jellyfish is immortal. Like Benjamin Button, it can transform itself from an adult to a baby and back again.

8. Rigor mortis, the stiffening of the body after death, is caused by chemical changes in the muscles that cause them to contract.

9. It’s illegal to die in the United Kingdom’s Houses of Parliament.

10. In Australia, the leading cause of death is heart disease, followed by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, cerebrovascular disease and lung cancer.

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