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8 Dec 2016 06:44 UTCThu 8 Dec 2016 - 6:44 am UTC
If a body buried 2.5 meter underground (3 stories grave). Does the body atoms come back to surface? How?
8 Dec 2016 14:55 UTCThu 8 Dec 2016 - 2:55 pm UTC
Welcome to Uclue, and thanks for bringing us such an intriguing question.
The short answer is yes, some of the atoms can come back to the surface.
Much of the body stays beneath the ground, of course, especially the bones and teeth. But the flesh and organs begin to decompose after death, due to chemical processes and the action of biological 'scavengers' from bacteria to maggots.
Some of the decomposing body turns into simple gases, like oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen sulfide. These gases can migrate through the soil, in much the same manner that gas bubbles out of a glass of soda (just much more slowly, though). Some will escape directly to the atmosphere, other gases will be absorbed in the soil and become part of plants, soil animals (like worms) or minerals, and these can all make their way to the open air eventually. Liquids and salts from the decomposing body can similarly make their way through the soil up to the surface.
If you're interested in more detail, here's a useful (though somewhat gory) article on the physical, chemical and biological processes at work:
This is what happens after you die
and some more detail about the chemistry of the underlying processes:
Chemistry of Decomposition
Let me know if you need any additional information.
8 Dec 2016 23:44 UTCThu 8 Dec 2016 - 11:44 pm UTC
How mineral and gas absorbed to doil come to surface (without a tree above grave) my question is about 8.2 feet (not the famouse 6 feet) which probably no maggots or worm live at that depth
9 Dec 2016 00:08 UTCFri 9 Dec 2016 - 12:08 am UTC
There is usually plenty of living organisms in soil, even at a depth of 8 feet or more. Most of it is probably microbial, but larger critters, like worms, can also be active at that depth. True...there isn't as much living matter as there would generally be closer to the surface, but it's still there and still plays a role in moving molecules around, including the material that was once part of a buried body.
Biological processes speed things up, but even in the absence of life, basic physical and chemical processes will also cause the atoms of a decomposing body to diffuse away from their point of origin, spreading out in all directions, including towards the surface. It may take a very long time but eventually, some of the material from the corpse will reappear topside.
The process can be accelerated by evaporation. As water disappears from the surface, it causes water from deeper levels to be 'sucked up' so to speak. The rising water carries with it the gasses and minerals it absorbs from lower levels, bringing these molecules to the surface.
Hope that gets you what you need.
9 Dec 2016 04:37 UTCFri 9 Dec 2016 - 4:37 am UTC
mike84...thanks for the rating. Hope we'll see you back at Uclue one of these days.
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