Do Your Hair And Fingernails Keep Growing After You Die?

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

After death, a body slowly loses moisture, causing the skin to dry and pull away from nails and hair. This process exposes the previously hidden nail beds and hair shafts, and makes it look as though the corpse's nails and hair have grown. Funeral homes offset this process by administering moisturizer to the dead.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. After death, the human body becomes dehydrated, which causes the skin to retract around the hair and nails. 00:21

  2. Gut bacteria keep breaking down food even after their host body has died. 01:19

  3. Even after the heart and lungs stop working, the brain can continue to pull nutrients and oxygen from the body. 01:56

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.