Photograph of a human skeleton found lying in scrub, CA. 1900-1910. Owned by the State Library of Western Australia. Photo is public domain.

When police come across the grisly remains of a human body, they need to identify details like time of death from biological clues. For instance, the amount of bloating and skin yellowing indicates how long a body has been decaying. What happens biologically after someone dies is studied in the field of forensic anthropology.

The Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State University is one of only five body farms in the world. Students examine human decomposition by dumping recently deceased bodies in open fields under a variety of different conditions. Watch the video below for an in-depth look into their work. Warning: the images in the video are graphic.




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