070: Silent Treatment
Hi everyone!

Firstly I'd like to welcome MountainGoat, thank you for your support :)


Secondly, I'd like to tell you all that I REALLY enjoy drawing cadavers, but the research behind drawing a man who has been dead in a dry environment for 5 years was a challenge. I had to learn about what would happen to a a human body if left to rot or not (as I will explain below), and whether or not it would actually decompose. And here is what I discovered:

There are 5 stages of decomposition; fresh; bloat; active decay; advanced decay; and dry/remains. These are the normal stages of human/animal decomposition (although the presence of full body scales or fur differ from human or pig flesh). Whilst looking up about the stages of decay I learnt about The Body Farm and learnt that depending on the location and environment a body is left in (fyi - all bodies at the body farm are left outside, so far as I can gather from my research): A body left in an open environment on earth would quickly be scavenged upon by animals and would soon turn to bone; A body left outside in a shaded area under some over protective covering from to avoid animal assisted decay (in their experiments the cover is typically a mesh cage) will go into the bloat stage in the first couple of days, and then active decay stage soon after, and continue naturally all the way through to dry remains (bones); Whereas a covered body left in a sunny spot would go into the bloat stage, but wont progress onto active decay and will instead dry out and mummify (admittedly in Texas the "sunny spots" are far warmer than a "sunny spot" in the UK would ever be). 

But learning this wasn't as helpful to me as one might think. So I went on delving into the realm of decomposition and situations of remains being discovered and I stumbled upon this lecture about cadaver dogs and how they are trained. This lecture, although being slightly off topic, had two good cases examples on how well bodies are preserved when in a cool dry place where bugs and insects could not get to them (and also taught me that if I were ever to murder someone and get rid of the remains I should dump them in water and NEVER wrap them in plastic [haha Dexter, that's where you went wrong!]).  I then realised, if Oscar were to stumble across a body on a space ship, in a dry room, it would most likely would not have fully decomposed and instead mummified. And then I had to start the somewhat unnerving task of Googling preserved/mummified humans during my lunch breaks (which almost put me off my bolognese one day), and uncovered a massive array of humans who have been mummified naturally - a few of my favourites being UR-David and the two women that were found with him, and The Franklin Expedition Mummies. The most disturbing one (only view if you have a strong stomach) is Xin Zhui, she was clearly in the bloat stage of decomposition when her body stopped decomposing, or maybe her remains got demaged, I dont know, I dont wanna do the research on her, her body is upsetting on my eyes!

I hope you enjoy my long spiel about dead bodies, and I hope this gives you an insight into my dedication being authenticity in my work.

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