Losing a beloved one can affect us deeply- emotionally, mentally and even spiritually. A challenge can become even thinking of the one that recently passed. However, many people recount that days or couple of years before the death has occurred, the friend or relative apparently knew it is about to be their time.
New amusing research can explain this phenomenon. A study conducted by Arnaud Wisman from the University of Kent’s School of Psychology and Ilan Shrira from the Department of Behavioral Sciences in Arkansas’ Tech University explains the evidences found in support of the thesis that people detect an upcoming death unconsciously through scent.
According to the study when we die, the human body decomposes it releases an odour, a process called putrescine. Putrescine is a foul-smelling organic chemical compound related to a decomposition of a body. More over when the human brain is exposed to putrescine it simulates a feeling of warning like there is an upcoming danger. Consciously most of the people are not supposed to recognise some kind of smell in the early stages, but subconsciously we do- so instinctively our natural response would be to move away. Multiple experiments were performed in order to prove that people sense a forthcoming death.
One of Wisman and Shrira’s experiments included the usage of putrescine at a site to check the people’s reaction. When the participants were exposed to the chemicals, their immediate reaction was to move away from the location. They did not recognised the odour and they do not responded in a negative or aggressive manner, as though they believed the location was dangerous.
Given the fact that the brain recognises the odour as the scent of the death, this researched can enlighten the individual’s behaviour in their final days. This data suggests that we can unconsciously perceive the beginning stages of a decomposition of the body and as we are aware that the death is imminent, so we become more and more comfortable that the ending of our story is near. Nowadays, in Western Europe and in The USA more and more people are searching and preparing their own funeral or cremation ritual.
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