Why Do Dead Bodies Float?


It is a common observation that a living person sinks in the water and a dead body floats at the surface of the water. Now, it is a confusing thing for us that why a living person sinks in the water and a dead body floats at the surface of the water. Most of the people provide the non-scientific reason for this phenomenon. According to them, a living person has the abilities to come out of the water, therefore, he has to sink. On the other hand, a dead body doesn’t have abilities to come out of the water, therefore, it floats. This is not the perfect explanation of this fact. We are living in the scientific world and we require a scientific explanation of each phenomenon. The scientific explanation of this fact is explained below;
Why Do Dead Bodies Float?

Why Does Living Person Sink?

When a swimmer swims in the water, he breathes outside of the water. It means that he doesn’t allow water to enter into his lungs. As a result, he doesn’t sink in the water. On the other, when an inexperienced person enters into the water due to any reason, he can’t breathe outside of the water. Its reason is that he can’t float at the surface of the water. As a result, his body continues to submerge under the water. When a person continues to submerge under the water, water replaces oxygen in his lungs. As a result, a living person sinks in the water.
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Why Does Living Person Sink?

Why Does a Dead Body Float at the Surface of the Water?

When a body sinks under the water, the bacteria in the gut and the cavity in the chest of this person continue to produce gases. This body sinks under the water until enough gases are not produced in the body of this person. When enough gases like methane, hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide are produced in the body of the person, he starts to float at the surface of the water just like a balloon. The production of these gases in the body of a person depends upon some other factors too. Therefore, it takes some time to float a body at the surface of the water. That’s why if a person sinks in a river, his body is found away from the destination.

What is Re-Floating of Dead Bodies?

As we know that the rescue workers have to find dead bodies in the water. Sometimes, rescue workers use the term ‘re-float’ while rescuing the dead bodies. According to them, if a dead body floats at the surface of the water for a long time, it releases the gas that was built in the body. As a result, this dead body sinks again in the water. Under the water, the decomposition process continues in the dead body. Due to this decomposition process, more and more gasses will be produced in the dead body. When enough gases are produced in the dead body, it will also start floating again. This is known as re-floating of the dead body.
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