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20 Scary And Disturbing Facts About Death

11. This is not a city. It’s a cemetery in Iraq. It covers nearly 1,500 acres and has an estimated 5 million bodies buried underneath it.

Wadi Al-Salaam
Image source:

Wadi Al-Salaam, the world’s largest cemetery, is located in Najaf, Iraq. It has been over 1,400 years since the burials started at this site. The cemetery is important to Shiite belief which states that the souls of all faithful men and women will be moved there no matter where they were buried. The graves are built using baked bricks and plaster and are of different sizes, including room-sized ones built by the wealthy. The violence during the Iraq war in 2003 has resulted in a massive expansion of the cemetery by 40 percent, spreading out over about three square miles. There was further growth in its size, especially in 2004 during clashes with American forces, then again in 2006-07 during the wars between Shiites and Sunnis, and the rate finally slowed down in 2008.(source)

12. On the Indonesian island of Tana Toraja, if a baby dies before teething, the family cuts a hole in a tree and places the dead child inside. The tree regrows around the baby and absorbs it.

Tree of baby graves
Image credit: Matt Paish via flickr

Death and burial on the island of Tana Toraja are thought to be “ruled by a complex set of long-established customs”. Funerals are very big events on the island and can last up to a week. The locals even invite outsiders to their family funerals, which are a procession of colorfully dressed men and women following the coffin. Babies that die before teething receive a more spiritual send off and are buried inside a tree so that “the wind can waft away their souls.”(source)

13. A cat has “predicted” the deaths of 25 residents in a nursing home in the US. The cat displays sudden affection for dying residents and curls up next to them.

Oscar, the cat
Image Source: dogonews

Oscar, a cat of Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Rhode Island, has a habit of curling up next to the residents who are about to die even though it was not known to be friendly to them when they were doing well. Researchers weren’t able to pinpoint the exact explanation for this behavior, but speculate Oscar could be smelling and sensing the organs shutting down as a resident is dying. Animals are known to have very keen ability to sense illness among fellow animals or humans. Dogs, for example, are known to detect cancer and even predict epileptic seizures.(source)

14. Male dead bodies can get a post-mortem erection. 

post-mortem erection
Image credit: wikimedia commons

Also known as angel lust or terminal erection, death erection is usually seen in the dead bodies of men who were executed, especially hanged, or who had a violent death. The pressure created by the noose during the hanging on the cerebellum is said to cause the erection. It is also seen among living men who experience erection without any physical or psychological stimulation because of an injury to their spinal cord or cerebellum. Apart from erection, violent deaths could also cause discharge of urine, mucus or prostatic fluid. In women, such deaths could cause enlargement of the vagina and clitoris and sometimes vaginal bleeding.(source)

15. There was a serial killer in Thailand that was so feared by the people that they publicly executed him and put his body in a clear box so everyone could see he really was dead. 

See Uey Sae Ung
Image Source: creepybasement

See Uey Sae Ung, also referred to as Si Quey, Si-oui or Si Ouey, was a Chinese immigrant who moved to Thailand in 1944 and is now known to have been a notorious serial killer. He suffocated and then ate the hearts and livers of over six young boys. He believed that eating them would make him stronger and healthier, and even immortal. In the 1950s, he was captured and hanged. Following the autopsy, his body was filled and covered with paraffin wax to preserve it, and is now on display in Songkran Niyomsane Museum of Forensic Medicine.(source)

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