How does body decompose in mausoleum

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How does body decompose in mausoleum

Recently, by way of my dear friend Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris, PhD, Esq.

Facts about Mausoleums, Entombment and Decomposition

Her marching orders were this:. Talk with any local cemetery or funeral homes which offer this service and found [sic] out how they are designed, how long the shelf life of a crypt is, what maintenance is required — both daily and yearly — to assure occupants are sealed in tightly.

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A mausoleum, and the crypts that it holds, are made of concrete and are just like any other building out there. Cleaning, painting, drainage repairs, landscaping, electrical, etc.

The residents of the mausoleum cause far less wear and tear than an apartment denizen, though. Crypts are simply a cuboid space made from concrete that is open on one end. There are drain holes in the bottom corners and vents in top corners. The drains and vents are there for ventilation and draining leaks. Leaks need not be gory effluent streaming from the casket, and the gases not necessarily the miasma of decomposition.

It is sealed with common glue or caulking. This is usually marble or granite — whatever facing the mausoleum has to make it pretty. As much as I would love to give you a great story, there is virtually zero maintenance on the crypts themselves. To speak to the safety and security of the crypt occupants, there are several factors that make disturbing a crypt difficult. During open hours, it would be decidedly risky to try to take on the endeavor.

Once you got past the shutters, you would need the equipment lift to get the casket out unless it was first level. Furthermore, it would be a largely fruitless endeavor. Big excitement is when you have irrigation problems. And there you have it — nearly everything you need to know about the design and maintenance of a mausoleum and the crypts inside. I find it so amazing that people find these things interesting. It may just be that after all of these years, none of it seems particularly compelling to me, but please, dear readers — all seven of you — send me your questions on these items that have been rolling around in your heads.

Just go to the contact page and send over a little missive. Crypt Maintenance by elemadmin Elemental Undertakings. No shutters on the crypts. Search for:.Really there is no answer to that question as rates of decomposition depend on the environment the body is placed in, for example if i place a body above ground in a cold environment such as an Alaskan winter, it would decompose more slowly than above ground in a warm humid environment such as Louisiana, however in the same environment with a burial at the exact same time, the answer is yes, a casket is not ventilated as much as a mausoleum, so the body tends to take a little longer to break down, and there have even been cases of mummification in caskets.

That depends on many factors, the location of the mausoleum, The time of internment, the type of coffin used, whether the body had been embalmed or not. So lets say in was in unembalmed in a wooden casket in LA in the summer it would decompose at an extremely high rate because of the heat, the heat in a mausoleum could even reach temperatures that are equal to a crematorium. Embalmed in a metal coffin in CT in the summer the body would decompose at almost the same rate as under ground only slightly because of heat.

In any case4 unembalmed bodies will decompose fast in a mausoleum because of the locked in heat from the sun where underground the are insulated from the sun.

Embalmed bodies will decompose along an similar rate either place because of the chemical treatment of the body. There is one particular book, entitled "Stiff," that will enlighten you about death, human death, scientifically speaking. It's a great book and written by a comedic author. Answer Save. Favorite Answer. I don't think it matters since the corpse should have been prepared in similar fashion. Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.Which detail from Heart of Darkness shows the ineffectiveness of the colonizers.

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Hottest Questions. Previously Viewed. Unanswered Questions. Needs a Topic. Will a body decompose in a casket and vault? Wiki User In the US, many metal caskets and vaults are hermetically sealed air and water tight. Related Questions Asked in Pollution, Waste and Recycling How long does it take for bodies to decompose in airtight caskets and a vault?

It depends on if and what kind of embalming was used on the body. Asked in Human Anatomy and Physiology How long for a human body to decompose?

It starts to decay immediately and attracts flies first. It depends on the environmental conditions on how long it takes it to completely decompose.

It can take several weeks or even months. Extra: It takes about a year for the body to decompose to a skeleton and teeth. The process of decomposition slows if it is in a casket.

how does body decompose in mausoleum

Asked in Soil, Coffins Can a casket be displaced after it has been buried due to land movement? Possible, but unlikely. In most places, a casket or coffin is placed in a metal or concrete vault which is placed in the grave before the casket.

No, at least not in the US. But the use of a vault can be required by cemetery regulations. Asked in Funerals What are the benefits of a burial vault? In addition to that, a - hermetically sealing - vault may provide the relatives with the peace of mind that at least for some decades no groundwater and no insects can enter the casket.

Asked in Health, Science Do maggots eat a body when in a casket?Your body is made up of over bones, a few trillion microbes, and as many as 37 trillion cells. And while death is often thought of as the end of the line for your self, your body still has a long way to go. It doesn't take long before your body starts to lose what makes you you. Just a few minutes after death, one of the first things to go is your brain. You see, when your heart stops beating, it halts blood flow, which is supposed to transport oxygen to your organs and tissues.

So without blood, the most active, oxygen-guzzling organs and tissues go first. And the results are Without oxygen to keep them alive, the cells self-destruct, spilling all that fluid onto the coffin floor. By that night, an even more troubling process begins in the gut. Your dying immune system can no longer contain the trillions of hungry microbes that normally help digest the food you eat. So they escape. First, they travel from the lower intestines through your tissues, veins, and arteries.

how does body decompose in mausoleum

Within hours, they reach your liver and gallbladder, which contain a yellow-green bile meant for breaking down fat when you're alive. But after the microbes are through eating those organs, that bile starts to flood the body, staining it a yellow-green. From about day two to four, the microbes are everywhere. And they're producing toxic gases, like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which will expand and cause your body to not only bloat, but stink.

After three or four months, your yellow-green complexion has turned brownish-black because your blood vessels have deteriorated to the point that the iron inside them spills out, becoming brownish-black as it oxidizes.

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Also around this time, the molecular structures that hold your cells together break away, so your tissues collapse into a watery mush. And in a little over a year, your cotton clothes disintegrate, as acidic body fluids and toxins break them down. Only the nylon seams and waistband survive. At this point, nothing dramatic happens for a while.Did you know about the decomposition issues that can develop when you put a body in an above-ground mausoleum?

Jeff provides a glimpse into a little-known part of the cemetery business. The bereaved enter your mausoleum expecting a serene environment, and a successful containment system is the way to provide it.

There are several products in the market to choose from, but how do you determine whether or not the value is worth the cost?

Look for the following qualities:. A better containment system will provide closure that is air, gas, and water tight-permanently! A superior system will vent at a higher internal pressure and emit little to no odor. A good containment system manages all decomposition phases through provision of full absorption and coagulation of liquids. Consider how many people are required to complete the task, and ensure that all materials are toxin free.

BioShield is scientifically engineered to protect distinguished mausoleums from leaks, odors, and flies by isolating decomposition byproducts in an uncomplicated, airtight container. It is made with our Bio-Lam multi-layered, reinforced and heavy duty barrier material, featuring the thickest barrier foil on the market. All heat seals are produced on equipment with electronic temperature controls, and pneumatic pressure control for consistent hermetic seal production.

BioShield uses aerospace-grade pressure relief valves which provide precision control of gas emissions at high internal pressures. Liquids begin coagulation immediately upon contact with the pad. Additionally, BioShield is exceptionally safe to use. There are no adhesives, solvents, or high temperature emitting tools needed! Name required. Mail will not be published required. May 26 th The Doyenne of Death in a mausoleum.

Like this: Like Loading Categories Guest Blog Posts Comments 0. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. Name Email Zip. Order today! Website by Mintz IT. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email.I just wonder what happens to the body. I know it rot under the ground, but does it above the ground too, when the person that has passed is in a casket in a memorial house?

Will it rot, become only bones? How long does it stay "in one piece"? Will the body be positioned the same as it was when it was first layed in the casket?

Also, is the eyes closed or open? I've just always wondered about this. Being put in an above ground tomb or mausoleum is actually the worst type of burial besides being in a "wet grave" because bodies simply liquefy and the bones dissolve and you end up with almost nothing left of a body besides clothing remnants within 10 to 20 years If you want to know about the disposition of a body and how long it will last, the availability of oxygen is a huge factor, but temperature and humidity and of course, water are huge.

Many people opt for mausoleums as they view them as "less damaging" to bodies, but they actually are worse places due to the fact that on a hot summer day the body can produce so many gases and anaerobic bacteria can quickly liquefy the body and eventually the pressure breaks the seal on the casket.

Will the body be positioned the same as Unlikely Rates of decomposition vary enormously depending on a whole range of conditions such as temperature, soil acidity, which mircoorganisms are present in the soil, water saturation, what the coffin is made of and condition of the corpse eg overweight, subjected to autopsy, etc etc But even under the most optimum conditions I would suspect that there's a fair amount of Uncle still left at present.

There's a story about a graveyard by a river The groundwater level was so high that the coffins and their contents rapidly became saturated with stagnant water no oxygen so very little decay. One winter the river flooded and washed all the coffins out - and even bodies buried 50 years earlier were virtually intact and still recognisable.

how does body decompose in mausoleum

Variable dependant upon the age and quality of the mausoleum. Many of the accidents described above do happen in older vaults. A lot depends upon how much of the body was left when it went in to the chamber. Where a body has been brought in from outside or where fire or other elements have done their work first the vault may be a good answer, but from scratch, with a new body, you will need to choose carefully, and the newer the building the better by and large.

The real answer is cremation, in my opinion then you may be sure. The body is sealed in the casket when it is closed. The eyes are closed, the body remains positioned the same as it was originally. Because bodies in this country are embalmed they are sort of pickled and will stay in tact for many years. A body that has had a good embalming job should be able to be put on display for for several years.

The casket is placed into a vault, whether it is buried above or below ground. That depends on a lot of things, mainly whether or not there was any kind of embalming done, what kind of casket he was buried in, and whether there was any kind of protection around the casket a concrete vault, for example.


Assuming that normal protocols of embalming and a good casket but no vault were followed, no, the body would not be fully decayed yet. The whole point of embalming is to slow down decay considerably.

It will take many years for a normally prepared body to decay. It depends upon how well the burial chamber is ventilated. If an above ground tomb is not properly ventilated, then constant changes in temperature over time can cause gases to build up in entombed bodies.The duration it takes for a dead body to decompose depends on various factors, any of which may affect the necessary time it takes to break the body down.

Nine Things About Human Decomposition

But surely, if the body is exposed to the elements, the decaying process will be very fast. The most important thing to remember in decomposition is the exposure of the dead body to bacteria.

In order to survive, bacteria need oxygen and are found in large concentrations in water. Therefore, if a dead body is exposed to water or air, then it will dramatically decompose. Insects and animals will feed on tissues if a dead body is exposed to them, and this also quickens the decomposing process.

How long does it take for a body to decompose? But the exact decomposing time differs. Generally, it could take about a year for the body to decompose into a skeleton in ordinary soil and eight to twelve years to decompose a skeleton.

And if a dead body is inside a coffin and buried deep underground, it could even take 50 years to decompose all tissues on the body. If the body does not get enough protection from the elements, it can even skeletonize in a space of a year. However, the teeth and bones can last even for a hundred years if the soil is not highly acidic and warm.

The following table shows body decomposition after death in a timeline in moderate temperature. Air decomposition takes place two times as fast as it would under water, and four times faster as it would underground.

These micro-organisms start to break down the dead intestine cells. Others like the bacteria known as coliforms and clostridia start invading other body parts. At the same time, the dead body starts its intrinsic breakdown caused by the chemicals and enzymes that are being released by dead cells.


For example, the pancreas is filled with digestive enzymes so it will rapidly self-digest. This usually starts from the abdomen. On top of all this, there is a terrible smell that comes from the release of gases like methane, hydrogen sulphide which has a rotten egg smell and some traces of mercaptans. This decomposition stage is reached in six days in temperate countries. It is reached much faster in tropics, but much slower in dry or cold conditions.

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This stage immediately starts when the heart stops beating. Since there is no blood pumping round the body, the blood in the body at that time is drained to the dependent body portions under gravity, and this creates livor mortis.

Livor mortis is a bluish-purple discoloration. From the time of death, the body starts losing heat to the surrounding, and this is results in a cooling of the body known as algor mortis.

Autolysis is the release of cellular enzymes that initiate breakdown of tissues and cells. This is brought about by a decrease in chemical changes and pH which causes loss of structural integrity in cells.

The little oxygen left in the body is quickly depleted by aerobic microbes and cellular metabolism naturally present in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. This, in turn, creates the perfect conditions for anaerobic organism proliferation. These multiply and consume the ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and carbohydrates present in the body.

After the proliferation of microbial, is the second decomposition stage which is called bloat.


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