Will the nails grown after death?????

Expert Answers
besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A common myth is that fingernails and hair will continue to grow after death but this is simply not true. After the body dies, it begins to dehydrate. Over time, as the surrounding tissue shrinks, it is an illusion that the nails have grown.

This assumption is so common that even people on trial for murder have wanted bodies investigated long after death to measure nail growth to see how long the person had really been dead for.

The only living, growing part of the nail is under the epidermis. When death occurs the nails die as well and it is impossible for the nails to continue to grow.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You often hear that the nails actually continue to grow after death.  However, this is not really true.

This idea has come about because sometimes bodies that have been dug up, or that are not buried for a few days have nails that appear longer than when the person died.  But the nails were not really growing.  Instead, the tissue around the nails has shrunk.

The reason why the tissue around the nails shrinks is that it starts to dry up.  As it does this, it shrinks, and more of the nail is exposed.

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question