what happens when we die?
I’ll give you the abbreviated version.
Okay, assuming that you have died outside somewhere and are exposed on open ground (not buried or anything), one of the first things that’s going to happen is autolysis. Self-digestion.
The body is host to billions of bacteria, which live on our tissues in a delicate balance. Once your body is unable to keep that balance in check, these bacteria can often run rampant! This means that, unchecked, these bacteria can eat through cell walls, cause “leaks” in the body cavity and much more.
A leak in the lining of the stomach due to a boom in the stomach or intestinal flora means a release of digestive enzymes into the rest of the body, accelerating self-digestion! While this is happening, another process is coming about.
Eyes usually go first. They are full of liquid and very unprotected once an animal has died, plus the can represent some hard-to-acquire nutrients. These will often shrivel and collapse in on themselves with the removal of the aqueous humors.
Flies. Flies are so good at colonizing bodies, they are used by forensic teams to trace down murder times in court. Within a very short timeframe, usually less than a few hours, blowflies will colonize a body, even one as human as you. Blowflies can even lay their eggs from the air, literally bombing a corpse with their eggs.
Maggots love fat. The fly larvae will borrow down to the subcutaneous fat tissue layer and then migrate horizontally, eating the fat layers. This causes the skin to become very loose and sometimes may slough off entirely.
As the body’s bacteria continues to go insane reproducing, the by-product of their respiration is gas. Gases like CO2 or methane can build up in you as to eventually cause ruptures, opening the body up to give more available surface area.
By this time, other decomposers have joined the scene: beetles. Beetles are sometimes used in the removal of flesh from bones that scientists want to have preserved! That’s how good they are at removing tissue. These guys will remove much of muscle and connective tissue your body. Give enough time, you will have putrefied, as the bacteria break tissue down to such a degree that it is more like soup. Pure liquid.
These processes continue until the eventual skeletonization of the body, with various insects coming and going, sometimes living out multiple generations on a single body. Fungi may colonize the body, too, as it is a heterotropic organism, gaining its food from outside sources besides the sun. If blood was spilled, this may be create ground that is moist and nutrient rich, facilitating plants and fungi, too.
These processes will continue, as I stated, until all is gone except the bones, which may be scattered by scavengers in some previous stage.
Sleep tight, everyone!