Saturday, 6 March 2010

Myth: Hair & Nails Grow After Death...

How I Heard About This: At university many of my medical-student friends were amazed that the bodies they were assigned to dissect over course of their studies had experienced some form of hair and nail growth after death. Having met up with an old university friend for a drink today we discussed this. I did some research...
Main Source:
Backup Source:
Topic: Human/Biology

Details: There is a myth that when you die your hair and nails continue to grow for a couple of months. There are a whole host of websites that claim it is a "strange fact". It turns out that this is not quite true. While it is true that some of the longer lasting cells in the body may live on for a few days after the heart has stopped, the amount of growth (if any) is in fact negligible.

Apparently this misconception comes from a phenomenon whereby the surrounding tissue shrinks away from the nail folds and hair shafts as the tissue starts to dry out. This then gives the impression that the hair and nails have continued to grow.

No comments:

Post a Comment