Posted in Science & Nature

Cattle Mutilation

For decades, there have been case reports by farmers who found mysteriously dead cattle with strange, surgically precise wounds. Strangely, these corpses were split open and most of their soft organs (e.g. eyes, tongues, intestine, genitals) had been removed. Even stranger, the corpses were completely drained of blood.

The mysterious, mutilated cattle corpses set off a diverse range of conspiracies of what could have caused such a bizarre phenomena. The most popular theories included: alien experimentation (explaining the surgical precision and lack of blood and organs), sacrifice by cults, vampires and the El Chupacabra (a mythological vampiric beast).

Cattle mutilation became so well-known that during the 70’s, it was properly investigated by the FBI. Of course, no evidence was found of aliens and vampires. As with most supernatural phenomena, cattle mutilation could be logically explained by science.

It was found that the cattle had simply died of natural causes, with no foul play involved (other than the occasional psychopaths attacking cattle). But how could natural death cause the surgical wounds, the missing organs and lack of blood? The answer is obvious when one thinks of what happens to animals after they die.

Scavengers such as foxes and buzzards often feast on decomposing corpses, cleanly removing the soft organs before they rot away (organs are the first to spoil). As scavengers usually bite into the corpses, this does not explain the clean wounds. This phenomena is due to insects also feasting on the corpse – a key part in putrefaction. Insects prefer softer tissue such as organs and ragged wounds, so after the insects are finished, wounds often look extremely clean. Also, putrefaction of tissue leads to massive gas production, causing bloating. Once this reaches a peak, the cattle corpse bursts like a balloon, causing clean tears in the abdomen. Lastly, the flies that were involved in cleaning away organs lay eggs, which hatch into maggots. Maggots immediately eat away the dead flesh and organs, even sucking up the blood that pooled at the bottom of the corpse. All of these factors combined results in what appears to be a mysterious alien bovine autopsy.

Although this may sound crazier than Chupacabras, the theory was actually tested in 1979 by a sheriff who kept receiving complaints about cattle mutilation. He took a dead cow, left it on a field and filmed it for 48 hours. The video clearly showed each step described above, proving that cattle mutilation was simply Mother Nature’s cruel, vicious way of returning a corpse back to the soil.

Posted in Psychology & Medicine


When a person dies, they leave a body. How does the body change after death? There are four main post-mortem events: algor mortis, livor mortis, rigor mortis and putrefaction. Forensic pathologists use these phenomena and an autopsy to determine the time of death, hearing out the final words of the deceased.

With death, all physiological functions cease. Therefore, the body produces no more heat and begins to cool (algor mortis), evident when touching the corpse. The rectal temperature is measured for an accurate reading. 
As blood is no longer flowing, red blood cells sink due to gravity. They sink to capillaries in the lowest point of the body, causing a purple-red rash on the skin of the area. This is known as livor mortis, or lividity. It appears first about 1~2 hours after death, and worsens with time. On the other hand, the other areas of skin become pale due to the lack of blood.
2~3 hours post-mortem, one can observe the jaw stiffening. This is called rigor mortis. It is caused as ATP is needed for muscle relaxation, and ATP production stops with death. This leads to the muscle becoming rigid, fixating on the position at the time of death. About 6~7 hours later, rigor mortis spreads to the entire body and completely fixes the body 10~12 hours later. After about 72 hours, rigor mortis dissipates and the corpse is limp again.

Putrefaction is the process of microbes decomposing the body – more commonly called rotting. After death, cells die from the lack of energy and are broken down by enzymes. As the immune system also ceases function, microbes easily infiltrate the body and begin converting organic material into inorganic material.
Microbes release gases as it digests the corpse, which collects and causes bloating. The main gases are carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen sulphide, producing the rotting smell, attracting insects to the corpse.
The key insects studied by pathologists are arthropods and flies. They can estimate the time of death from observing what species are present on the body, and at what stage of the life cycle they are at. For example, 0.5~1 hour post-mortem, flies arrive and lay eggs, which hatch into maggots at 10~24 hours, which becomes cocoons after 8~12 days, which hatch into adult flies at 12~14 days post-mortem.

There is no dignity in death. The rich, the powerful, the kind, the happy – everyone rots away by nature after they die.