Scientists have discovered that all corpses share similarities when it comes to microbial networks, regardless of where they are from. As a result, the decomposition of human bodies is not just a natural process but also a vital part of the ecosystem.
Research published in Nature Microbiology has shown that once a body begins to decompose, it contains bacteria and fungal decomposers that are rare in the rest of the world. These microbes play an essential role in breaking down corpses and eventually become part of the “decomposition ecosystem,” which helps with plant production.
The study involved burying 36 donated corpses in different locations with distinct environmental features. Despite these differences, all the samples taken by researchers later featured the same selection of microbes. The experts believe that insects could carry these microbes to decomposing human and animal remains.
Dr Devin Finaughty, who was not involved in the study, explained that decomposition is defined as the consumption of organic material by other organisms, but it is different from physical degradation caused by physical erosive forces like water. The decomposition system revolves around dead bodies as a resource for food and breeding grounds for many organisms.