What happens to our bodies when we die?

“Nothing is certain, except for death and taxes,” as the old phrase of uncertain origin goes. While taxes – at least in the global tech sector – look a bit shakier than they did back in the 1700s when the phrase was likely coined, death has remained resolutely unchanged.

What does the process of dying involve, on a biological level? This brilliant video from AsapScience covers it all nicely, with hand-drawn sketches neatly covering up the ickiness as blood pooling, involuntary bowel movements, rigor mortis and putrefaction are explained matter-of-factly.

What’s particularly interesting about the video – other than the unflinching, non-squeamish look at our inevitable biological breakdown – is that it explains what happens without human intervention. Embalming prevents some of the nastier side effects of the decaying process, which explains why the funeral industry is often regarded as truly recession-proof.

Not everyone believes that our way of dealing with the dead is the best, especially when we’re trying to reduce our collective carbon footprint. With cremation involving a 1,000-degree furnace operating for an hour, and burning a wooden coffin, some people are wondering if there’s a better way of dealing with our dead – even if it involves ripping up our cultural hangups.

READ NEXT: How Facebook and Twitter are changing the ways we think about death

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