Death, Afterlife, Consciousness in Death and Science


Death, and after life, is something that a lot of religion have made conclusions about. From dying and going to heaven to meet your siblings, friends, loved ones and relations according to some faith, to being reincarnated into another organism (animal, plant, or human) to have a new start. While I cannot say for sure what it looks like after death, since I am obviously alive, as a scientist, I ensure to follow methodologies, observations, experiments, and facts. Science is based on fact and not hear say, and today, I will be looking into what happens after death based on scientific facts and experiments.


What Happens at the point of Death

You start to ask, is this scientific and can science proof a lot of these things? Determining what happens to a person at the time of death depends on the way the individual dies. The WHO shows that drowning is unintentional but still accounts for 7% of all injury related death, and an estimation of 236,000 people die annually around the world. So if we were to look into Drowning, which according to the WHO is an experience of respiratory impairment by the victim as a result of being immersed or submerged into water, which could lead to death. The process of dying from drowning according to NCBI shows that respiratory difficulty under water, shock, and excessive intake of water into the body from the mouth leads to the Laryngeal nerve to be activated. The Laryngeal nerve is often activated when there are foreign objects going into the body from the mouth. You would have noticed that when you are drinking water or eating food, there is a short pause in breathing as well as inability to talk, as a result of the larynx closing, which prevents the foreign bodies from getting into the lungs. A process known as Laryngospasm. When this process becomes extended, the body, tissue, and organs have low or no oxygen. A process known as Hypoxia. The continuous filling of the lungs with water as a result of a relaxed larynx, will lead to cardiorespiratory arrest, as well as neuronal cell injuries, before death.

When it comes to death from freezing, (I mean like that of the Titanic where Jack died as a result of freezing when trying to save rose) the body must have reached the cold threshold. Before the body reaches the cold threshold, the blood pressure starts to increase Modesti, 2013, but when the threshold is reached, norepinephrine is released, thereby creating a tendency for blood in the body to clot Opper et al., 1995. When the body is exposed to more cold, the lungs start to slow down its function, a process known as Reduced Forced Expiratory Volume, before the body starts to lose consciousness, and then death.

When it comes to clinical or biological death, which is caused by the ceasing of breath and blood circulation in the heart, brain and body. The victim losses consciousness with 20 – 40 seconds prior to death as a result of the a gradual stop in brain activities leading to brain death. The entire body suffers from Ischemic injury, but the brain suffers from it faster. The blood flowing below the heart would stop circulation completely at about after 30 minutes.

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The after Death Event and Consciousness

According to Sam Parnia, MD, PhD. in AWARE – AWAreness during REsuscitation published in the Official Journal of European Resuscitation Council. He confirms that 40% of patients who were clinically dead as a result of Cardiac Arrest and were resuscitated, experienced consciousness when they were clinically dead. Further buttressed in a science news on Dr Parnia’s research, victims who were resuscitated could recall experiences surrounding death. They could sense things related to universal themes. Also, the study showed that there were emergence of gamma activities electrical spikes on Electroencephalography which could indicate consciousness.

Well, there haven’t been much researchers on the life after death as well as consciousness after clinical death but in the near future, there will be more research on this topic

Your Body After Death

After Global Cerebral Ischemia where blood stops to flow into the brain, the brain dies and the body begins primary flaccidity where the entire muscle is relaxed. At this point, muscles that hold together starts to relax completely and a few could pee on themselves while others could have feces leave their sphincter since all muscles are relaxed. In about 15 minutes, the body starts to become pale as a result of no blood circulation. A process known as Pallor Mortis which is the second post mortem sign of death. Red Blood cells starts to pull to the area of the body closest to ground as a result of gravity. The body temperature starts to cool down from the normal living human temperature, a stage known as algor mortis. If you think your food decomposes very fast, then you haven't seen a corpse decompose. In about three hours, there are biochemical changes in the body which causes the tissues to stiffen (rigor mortis).The eyelid stares wide open, the body starts to change and decay before the secondary flaccidity stage comes to play. The body starts to shrink and decompose more in about three days.At day 3,bacteria starts to feed on the body and at day 5, the body starts to ferment causing blisters and rotten smell. [](] is a place where you can just read to see the stages.


Consciousness after death still vary from person to person who have had a near death experience or a come back from death experience. While some scientists would agree to humans being conscious after death, Some would disagree to this completely, but the when it comes to body decomposing, science is one at that. It is very important to Bury the dead or cremate them according to wish because according to scientific American, and, the smell that comes from a dead person not buried could be a combination of Cadaverine and putrescine, SkatoleIndole, Hydrogen sulfide, Methanethiol,Dimethyl disulfide and trisulfide combined.