Researchers at Australia’s first ‘human body farm’ have observed that dead bodies move significantly when they decompose and believe the movement could be important in death investigations.
Researcher Alyson Wilson made the discovery using time-lapse cameras to film the decomposition of a donor body in 30-minute intervals over 17 months.
The observations are yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal but have intrigued Ms. Wilson’s colleagues.
The body farm is the Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research (AFTER), which was set up three years ago to investigate human decomposition under a variety of conditions to replicate crime scene scenarios.
“What we found was that the arms were significantly moving, so that arms that started off down beside the body ended up out to the side of the body,” Ms Wilson said.
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