MadSci Network: Microbiology

Re: How do bugs and worms get into dead bodies?

Area: Microbiology
Posted By: Samuel Conway, Senior Staff Chemist, Avid Therapeutics,Philadelphia, PA
Date: Mon Apr 21 19:43:04 1997
Area of science: Microbiology
ID: 859428106.Mi
Well, first off, if the coffin is indeed hermetically sealed, earthworms
will not be present.  They would have to get in from the surrounding
earth; they don't just 'pop up'.  As for bugs, a fly or other insect
would have to land on the corpse and lay its eggs in order for the 
larvae to develop later on.

If a corpse is properly embalmed, there should be no "bugs or worms" 
for quite some time.  However, as even the Egyptians found, nothing
lasts forever.  Eventually, even a sealed coffin will deteriorate, and
creepycrawly things will find their way in.

Now, I shall forego my spaghetti dinner, thank you, and just have a 
cup of coffee.  Waiter, check please....

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