What Happens to a Body During Cremation?

What Happens to a Body During Cremation?

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What goes on inside that cremation machine?

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Mortician: Caitlin Doughty
Writing & Research: Louise Hung
Editor & Graphics: Landis Blair


“The Degree of Destruction of Human Bodies in Relation to the Duration of the Fire”. Michael Bohnert, Thomas Rost, Stefan Pollack. Forensic Science International. 1998.

“Burning Out: What Really Happens Inside a Crematorium”

“How Cremation Works”

hello darlings today we're returning to where my career began really which is describing every visceral McCobb detail of the cremation if you've never seen one of my videos before and just googled his cremation right for me hi hello welcome don't worry I'm actually pretty good at this this video is the first and what I hope is a series about what happens to an average everyday corpse both procedurally and scientifically in different post-mortem scenarios let us begin most crematories will require that a person be cremated in some kind of container you may have your eye on that $5000 lacquer mahogany kylie jenner berber casket but while that style may work for burial it's not a good match for the cremation machine cremation specific caskets are typically pine plywood or most commonly a cardboard alternative container which will burn up real nice before a body goes into the cremation machine jewelry is usually taken off and medical devices like pacemakers prosthetics or silicon implants are removed from the body why because pacemaker batteries can explode and prosthetic and breast implants melt into a sticky goo that some poor Crematory worker has to scrape up I think that my what happens to breast implants during the cremation video is still my most popular video because the internet after all the exploding and melting goodies have been removed from a corpse a metal tag a lot like a dog tag will be put in with the corpse and stay with it from start to finish so the remains can always be identifiable this is how we know we're giving you grandma's remains not Bob's remains who is Bob you don't know him which is exactly the point now we commence the cremation cremation of a body takes place in the first of two chambers the primary chamber where the body goes can reach temperatures of 1,800 to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit or 900 degrees Celsius in this brick and cement lined mini inferno the soft tissues of the body incinerate and vaporize reducing to chunks of brittle bone and some ash this takes one to two hours but what happens during that one to two hours behind that big metal door every 10 minutes or so in the machine the body undergoes some pretty intense changes on its way to complete cremation would you like to know what they are gather round the children or dodo this is actually pretty intense about 10 minutes in exposed to the flame the muscles skin organs and fat begin to char sizzle and shrink fun fact if the corpse is incinerated before its muscle tissue has decomposed too much its limbs may contract hands in a fist arms bent head tilted like a boxer but it doesn't sit straight up myth at the 20-minute mark most of the soft tissue has burned off of the face and skull save for the cheeks ribs are beginning to show and in the thoracic and abdominal region Jets of liquid may spray from tears in the body cavity this is the liquids in the body aggressively evaporating and the abdominal organs dehydrate and shrink after 30 minutes the calvaria or skullcap is beginning to come apart from the rest of the skull boiling liquid pours from the fractures and the facial bones have almost no tissue left on that the bones of the chest are mostly exposed with the ribs bending inward and outward the organs of the abdomen continue to shrink and the arms and legs are mostly free of soft tissue if not completely consumed by the flames at the 40-minute mark the calvaria has completely come off now exposing a blackened brain and the bones of the face have mostly disintegrated the ribs entirely exposed twist and bend severely abdominal organs like the spleen look like blackened sponges and the lower parts of the arms are all but gone at 50 minutes what remains of the internal abdominal organs are shriveled and looks spongy the thighs are nothing but stumps and the arms are mostly gone the spinal column is more or less on its own now and is coming apart at the 60 minute mark and beyond if the torso hasn't already broken apart it probably does that now the skull is nothing but bone fragments the internal organs are nothing but ash and the pelvis is consumed by flames while all that tissue and bone is being burnt in the primary chamber the gases and particulate created by the cremation go into a secondary chamber where they are subjected to temperatures of around 1700 degrees Fahrenheit this second chamber is to reduce smoke odor and emissions before they're released into the atmosphere after the body has finished burning the cremated remains are allowed to cool before they are swept by a Crematory operator into what looks like a large cookie tray at this point the remains are nothing but three to five pounds of fragile organic bone fragments and some ash a powerful magnet is run over the bones and ash to pick up any metal that made it through the cremation and then the cremated remains are ground into the powdery substance we recognize cremated remains in what's called a cremulator from there the cremated remains are placed in a container or urn for the cremated individuals friends or family to pick up and do with as they wish and that's more or less how it's done from cold corpse too hot bones those are the basics of cremation what kind of body dispositions scenario situation would you like to know about this video was made with generous donations from death enthusiasts just like you patrons like Murray and moss Felicia Kemp Philip and Betsy Alison Myles Natalie Cooper ed remain thumbs head

25 thoughts on “What Happens to a Body During Cremation?”

  1. Is it true that they have to have so many body's before they will start to cremate them??? Someone told me that and it doesn't sound right… no one would want their loved ones mixed In with other people!!!

  2. 😳🔥😬🔥😩🔥😧🔥🤢🔥🤮
    Well Crap! I’ll be having nightmares from this one😟
    I had my father cremated, now all I can think of is his blackened brain peeking out of the top of his head after the top of his skull 💀 breaks apart.
    🥺Sorry about that Dad😬

  3. Hi and hello, nice video. I'm wondering if someone is cremated can their remains enter the natural cycle again in some way? Or are the remains permanently unusable by plants and animals?

  4. My Mom who had passed away 4 years ago. My dad last year. I have notices with my parents ashes. My dad has some black specks with his ashes, Could this be from his 14 stents?

  5. Just watched this and want to be cremated as seen another vid from people from America about Un forgotten graves vid even people from the 70s was for gotten and it was in a wooded area where there was no work at all about the dead being done there all over grown

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