Health Can a Severed Head Live On?

The Helper

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Centuries-old tales have described severed heads that seemed to live on for a few seconds — blinking, changing expressions, even attempting to speak.

During the French Revolution, an executioner reportedly held the severed head of Charlotte Corday (who assassinated politician Jean-Paul Marat) aloft and smacked its cheek. Witnesses claimed Corday's eyes looked at the executioner, and an unmistakable expression of disgust came over her face.

More recently, in 1989, an Army veteran told of seeing a friend decapitated in a car crash. According to the story, the severed head showed emotions of shock, followed by terror and grief, its eyes glancing back at its separated body.

Compelling (and gruesome) as these stories may be, many physicians would call this possibility highly unlikely. At the moment of decapitation, the brain would suffer a massive drop in blood pressure. Rapidly losing blood and oxygen, the brain would likely go into coma, even if death took a few seconds.

Find out Moar Here: http://www.livescience.com/39219-can-severed-head-live.html
 

KMilz

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Rapidly losing blood and oxygen, the brain would likely go into coma, even if death took a few seconds.
Would it really happen that quickly? I wouldn't think that the oxygen would leave the brain in an instant and that it would take a couple of seconds, and then you'd expect them to feel some pain where the chop was. I don't know, I'm not a doctor.
 

Accname

2D-Graphics enthusiast
You know what happens to an air balloon if you pop it with a needle? Rapid loss of oxygen.
 

KMilz

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You know what happens to an air balloon if you pop it with a needle? Rapid loss of oxygen.
Can you really equate the two things? I can imagine any number of closed systems that, when broken, have a much slower release of the air within than a popped balloon. I don't know how pressurized the arterial system is so that info would really explain whether that's how it would happen or not.
 

shinami

Redirect your complaints to the nearest wall
There used to be this video around youtube where Soviet doctors decapitate a monkey's head and since I saw it a long time ago I can't exactly remember what they did, but it was either a)They just kept the head alive with all sorts of things attached to it b)They transplanted it onto the body of another monkey.

Can't remember exactly, but what I do remember is that it was a very interesting video.

I found it. They transplanted the head onto another monkey.


But this one's short, I remember seeing a longer one with more details. Turns out it wasn't even Soviet doctors, I don't know why I remembered it like that o_O

Edit again: I thought soviets because I thought about this video:

 

KMilz

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Yeah, I saw that too on the show 'Dark Matter,' or something along those lines...

That's kind of why I wasn't convinced by their opinions, but who knows. Either way, they couldn't get their monkey head to live on because they severed the part of the brain that controls autonomous function, and since it's brain wasn't telling it to swallow or breath or anything it drowned to death. I think they performed the experiment several times, and the doctor's hope was to find a way to transplant the human soul. I'm not all for torturing animals, but they sure did some cool fuckin' experiments before they got blasted with all the laws and regulations they have now.
 
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