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Monday, November 13, 2006 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

Do fingernails really continue to grow after you die?

A lot of freaky stuff happens to the human body after death. Rigor mortis sets in, the blood stops clotting, and you get all "gross and pasty looking" (a non-medical term). However, I do have some good news -- you needn't worry about your fingernails and hair growing from beyond the grave.

Snopes.com explains the truth behind the legend. The human body begins to dehydrate after a person dies. Because the skin is so dry, it "pulls away from nails and hair." This makes it appear as though the nails and hair are growing, but in fact, it's really the opposite. The body is shrinking.

So this is just an illusion. Snopes notes that the body's unfortunate tendency to dry out is the reason funeral homes are so liberal with the moisturizer. Without it, the newly departed would appear unrecognizable well before the casket is shut. Creepy.

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