What Does a Dead Body Smell Like?


The odor given off by a dead body isn’t limited to one specific type of smell. It’s because many different components break down at the same time–organ tissues and fluids, skin cells, bacteria, and brain tissue to name a few. Scientists can say that without nose hair, sulfur compounds (responsible for eggy or metallic smells) would be carried deep into upper regions of the airways where they would eventually destroy lung tissue; without sweat glands or sebaceous glands (located in the skin), human bodies wouldn’t produce any unpleasant-smelling substances as an adaptation against predator attack; without melanocytes (cells that produce Melanin), people who have healthy sun exposure could look much paler than those with no sun exposure.

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