Bouyancy of A Severed Human Head

by S. Gouriet Ryan
(Sydney, Australia)

Photo Credit: Karlos

Photo Credit: Karlos

Can a severed human head float? And, if it sinks immediately, will it 'rise again' when the brain decomposes? There are instances when allegedly human heads were found floating in the Thames.

However, these claims are contradicted by inquest testimony from Victorian Home Office forensic expert Dr. Thomas Bond, as quoted in a newspaper report, that the weight of the bones of the skull would be sufficient to prevent a head from rising. I suspect that this is a misquote, however, and that a head will rise when the brain decomposes UNLESS it has been weighted down.

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