“Smoked pigs” decompose slower than those that don’t smoke. (They were actually injected with nicotine).
With smoking rampant in the Middle East, and rates in children increasing all the time, a new CSI study, using pigs of all creatures has found that those injected with nicotine decompose slower than those pigs which weren’t injected, reports the New Scientist.
Over here in the Middle East, Muslim and Jewish traditions don’t permit the use of embalming materials to keep the body preserved for viewing. In fact the custom over here, one which we like, is to make sure the dead are buried more or less right away. In Jerusalem, the custom is that the dead must be buried before nightfall.
In the new research on pigs and smokes, Andrew Chick from Nottingham Trent University, has already unearthed some interesting preliminary results in his 5 year study. Flies avoided the nicotine-treated areas of the pig at first (around the neck area), and when they do lay their eggs there, he found, they deposit solo eggs rather than customary clumps.
“When maggots hatch, they seem to avoid feeding on the nicotine-rich area, and beetles stay away too. Together, these results mean that smokers’ bodies might decompose more slowly than those of non-smokers,” he told New Scientist.
If repeat experiments support these findings, forensic scientists will need to differentiate between the bodies of people who smoke and those who don’t, says Chick. Other chemicals could cause similar errors too. “There is evidence in the literature that illegal drugs have an effect on the way bodies decompose: cocaine, for example, increases the size of maggots.”
With all the other nasty chemicals a human body picks up in their lifetime, nicotine is one we can avoid. At least at the time of our demise the earth and the maggots might thank you for not smoking. Maybe time for another bad habit, like qat?