Trible (tamtrible) wrote in little_details,

Is there a good source for how people look after they've died certain ways?

Location: not really relevant, but near future, mostly in the western US
search terms: how bodies look right after death from various causes

For a story I'm working on, I will have a bunch of zombies, who pretty much look as though they are recent corpses that died in various ways (zombification only happens after death, and substantially slows decay). Most of them will be from "normal" deaths--heart attacks, drug overdoses, car accidents, et cetera. Only people who died *relatively* intact (head attached to torso to at least some degree, both at least mostly present) will become zombies.

Is there a good source (preferably not *too* graphic, I'd kind of prefer words to pictures) for descriptions of what the recently deceased from various causes tend to *look* like? Some (like car accidents) I can guess, but I'm more interested in the various "medical" causes of death. Free online sources strongly preferred.

Alternately, if you can mention individual, specific causes of death that leave an interesting and/or distinct appearance, and causes that leave a relatively live-looking corpse, that would be helpful, too. (edit: this is an either/or. Causes that leave a very distinct appearance, and causes that would leave a corpse that looks basically alive)

And, since I'm asking, as a bonus... is there any chemical change that you can think of that more or less distinctly signals "this is a dead body now"? The zombie fungus lives harmlessly in the brain 'til the host dies, then puts on a growth spurt upon death, and I need something to signal "Time to grow now". (didn't search for this, just an additional thing I was wondering if anyone happens to know)
Tags: ~forensics: corpses

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