You may have seen that a dead body would float on water while a living person will sink almost immediately. Have you ever wondered why, given that a dead person is two times heavier than a living body?
So, in this article, I’ll go into the physics of why a dead person floats while a living one sinks.
Before I go any further, I’d like you to understand the Archimedes Principle, which explains how and why an object floats on water.
The buoyant force acting upward on a body immersed in a fluid, whether wholly or partially, is equal to the weight of the fluid that the person displaces, according to Archimedes’ principle.
Simply put, an object can only float on water if the amount of fluid displaced by it equals the weight of the body.
That Begins To Explain Why A Dead Person Floats.
When a dead person is dumped into a pool of water, the air in the lungs is replaced by water, and the body sinks to the bottom.
The dead person remains submerged until the decomposition process has produced enough gas to make it buoyant.
As bacteria feed on the rotting carcass, they create gases like carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, which inflate the body and push it higher, causing it to float.
Depending on several circumstances such as temperature, sunlight, and so on, the entire process could take one to two weeks.
Why Does A Living Body Sinks?
A living person sinks because the amount of water it displaces is inadequate to support its weight.
According to studies, those with greater muscle sink more quickly because muscles are thicker than water, and those with more body fat stay afloat longer since fat is less dense than water.