For most of us, working with the dead isn't something we are going to have a whole lot of opportunity to do. That means most of us won't have a frame of reference for what is normal and what is "weird" when it comes to corpses, caskets, and the industry of death in general.
That might be why this reddit thread has generated some buzz.
It's not a world most of us get a peek into, so these responses are equal parts fascinating and kind of terrifying. We've got worms, exploding caskets, we've got one person who was the weird thing going on at the cemetery.
Yeah... things get interesting.
Funerals and tombstones are the family business and my dad has lot of stories. One that really stood out was the time they were dropping a vault (cement box they the casket goes inside) into a gravesite before a funeral and noticed what looked like "large pieces of grilled meat" at the bottom of the hole.
On asking the cemetery directory what was up (the hole is supposed to be empty) , he was told to ignore it. He did not ignore it and instead brought it up with some others, eventually notifying the authorities. Turned out they had a crematorium on site and were only partially burning the bodies as a means of saving money. The leftovers were being dropped in the graves of others being buried. Few people went to jail for that apparently.
My roommate worked in a graveyard in high school. Said he saw an old man hunched over in a chair at 6am from across the graveyard. Didn't think anything of it and let the man mourn in peace. Around lunch time he was still sitting there. He went up to him and saw that he was hunched over because he had shot himself from under the chin up. He said his blood was all over the grave of his wife who recently had died. Very sad Romeo and Juliet ending.
A nearly 50 % calcified heart.
The man was in his mid 30's and unexpectedly passed. I'm only an assistant, but our chief has been in the field for 34 years and has never seen such an extensive calcification on someone so young, let alone someone that could live long enough for it to get that bad. He honestly had no idea how such a thing could even happen.
He was more impressed by the patients life span than the actual heart.
Never Get Used To It
I'm an EMT and our ambulance station is attached to the county morgue. Sometimes I'll assist the coroner or pathologist. I'll never get used to seeing someone I once saw alive laying in the anatomical position with their guts out.
Last time it was a girl who added me on Facebook that I was thinking of dating. I wasn't prepared to see her in there like that.
Not A Dignified Way
I worked in a jail and the county morgue was attached to it. I'd sometimes go help them move corpses around. One night we were transferring a body into a hearse to be taken to the funeral home. All of our gurneys are from like the 1950-1960's. They didn't really make them to handle a morbidly obese person back then. The gurney broke and dumped a very, VERY fat corpse on top of the new guy I was trying to show how to do the job. Knocked him over and pinned him underneath, and it took 3 of us to roll the corpse off of him.
He was in hysterics and quit, and we all got yelled at for it even though it was solely due to the fact that we have outdated and worn out equipment. But yeah, the bodies being brought in are bigger and bigger as years go on, and the equipment for handling corpses usually was only designed for bodies half that size at max. We tried to be as respectful as possible while handling the dead, but there's just not a dignified way to move a 500 pound dead person.
A Thorough Checking
My sister works for the county coroner. They sent off the body of a middle aged father who seemed to have passed away from a heart attack. She received a call asking if all of the man's orifices were thoroughly checked. Evidently he had a large sex toy in his colon.
One Way TripGiphy
Not a worker, but I have severe epilepsy. I had a massive seizure while visiting my family's plot once and hit my head hard. My mom had to call an ambulance. At first, they didn't believe her when she gave the address, but finally one was sent. When it rolled it, the caretaker came out and hovered around while I was stabilized and loaded, then driven away.
Afterwards, while my mom was getting ready to follow it to the hospital, he said "Well, that's the first time they've ever taken any bodies OUT of here. It's normally a one way trip." Then he offered my mom a free plot and burial service if I didn't make it.
The Totaled Van
I worked as a gravedigger for a family owned Cemetery/Mortuary for a few years...20 years ago. Craziest thing that ever happened... I got a call from my boss at 11 pm one night. No alarms yet, we were on call on the weekends, so a late night call from the boss wasn't that weird. This is where normal ended. He asked me to come down to the cemetery, ASAP and open a grave that we scheduled to be opened first thing the next morning, but he needed it ...at midnight!?!?
He then tells me what's been happening. Apparently we dis-interred 2 caskets from a cemetery in the Los Angeles area. This was in the early 2000's and the bodies were originally buried 1979. I don't care what anyone says, stainless steel, waterproof caskets are a bad idea. The caskets were intact enough to be removed but when they were being put into the transportation van... they bumped together, and the corners of the caskets broke... releasing the contents. The fluid contents. All over the inside of the van. The driver was not happy. But, got on I-5 to Sacramento anyway for the 6 hour drive. The driver said he gagged the entire trip. He said the smell was so bad he drove with his head out the window to avoid the smell. He called the boss and told the boss that the graves need to be open and ready the second he arrived so that we could get these caskets in the ground and covered as soon as possible. Which we did.
The next day, before the mortuary opened we had locals calling in complaining about the smell. The Fire department came by, the police eventually called to inquire about the complains and the smell. It was coming, not from the grave, but from the van used to transport the caskets. We stripped out the carpet and burned it, the plastic came next and we bathed that in bleach, then drenched the inside of that van with every cleaning chemical that we had. Nothing helped. So, the boss called the insurance company.
The adjuster showed up, and the boss met him outside at his car, across the parking lot from the van. The adjuster immediately asked about the horrible smell. The Boss told him that it was coming from the van, and that why he was here. The adjuster looked at him for about 3 seconds and said, "it's totaled, I'll call a tow truck," then got back into his car and drove away.
A guy with an ascaris infestation (intestinal worms). As the body cools down they start exiting through the nose, mouth and all the orifices, which makes for a really gross spectacle. I had to finish pulling them out (they are long, wriggly and disgusting, and wouldn't stop coming) so I could commence my autopsy. I found more inside, too. Blegh.
Are You Real?
My neighbor has a funny story. She was visiting the hospital and got in the elevator. Now this hospital isn't built entirely on the same elevation. The main entrance is on top of a hill. This means that to get to the main floor, you have to press the 1st floor button. Underneath that button is another floor labeled M. She thought it was labeled M, for main floor. It was actually labeled M, because that floor was the morgue. So she gets off at the morgue level to try and figure out where she is. The mortician comes around the corner and nearly has a heart attack when he sees her. After asking her if she's real, he shows her that the first floor is the main floor and helps her get to the main entrance.
My father worked cleaning a hospital morgue for a while. His co-worker was supposed to transport an amputated limb from the morgue to the furnace out back, which was at the top of a steep hill that had been covered with snow and a thick layer of ice from freezing rain and sleet the day before.
Dad was at the bottom of the hill and, thinking it would be funny, the dude waved the amputated leg at my dad. Then he dropped it, watching in horror as it skidded all the way down the icy hill into a small crowd of visitors-- which included some of the hospital's investors-- who screamed bloody murder and took off in random directions. He was fired, but later considered the story in itself to be worth losing his job.
My uncle used to be an EMT in a really small town in PA, so they pretty much deal the with everything. Neighbors hadn't seen this old lady in quite some time so called 911 and my uncle and his crew went to see what was up. Lady had died doing something to the furnace (old school in your living room type one) and when she died she landed on it and pretty much "melted" onto it. They had to scrape her off. I can only imagine what seeing that does to people...
We were prepping the body and removed the sheet to find a cotton string tied around his penis. Another funeral home had embalmed him so I can only assume they put it there. But why?
"Dancing" On His Grave
Worked in cemetery as a teen in the mid 60's. The old widow probably in her late 50s would bring her new boyfriend and have sex on her deceased husbands grave stone. We had to chase them off several times.
A friend of mine is in the business that his family has owned for a while.
A guy called asking a LOT of technical questions about the crematorium. How hot does it get, how long do you do it etc.
After answering questions he asks what is going on.
The callers dad was in his late 80s and had a terminal illness. They want to do a home cremation.
They explain that you can't really do that that there are laws and procedures with the police and hospital etc. The caller dismissed all of that legal mumbo jumbo and thanked him for the info.
A couple of months go by and the guy calls back.
How much do you charge for a "partial" cremation? A partial? What is going on there.
I guess the dad died and they got a bunch of railroad ties and tried to burn the dad up in the backyard. The partial was the leftovers from the fire.
For those that don't know you have to have temperatures way higher than you ever could reproduce in your backyard to completely burn up a body
After they said they didn't do partials the guy hung up.
I used to process bodies that were donated to science. This company would offer a free cremation for people if they could take parts they could use. They promised a minimum percentage of ashes returned (I think 40%) thru would take a lot of knees, shoulders, elbows and doctors could practice using Magellan surgeries. Had one woman come in. She weighed 65 lbs. And I had no problem lifting her myself.
Cancer ate her up. These people were mostly poor people that had been stuck on some institution. Her hip had dislocated and refused to her pelvis. She had horrible rotting bed sores. I had just started the job and was about four weeks into training. I was worried the job would be too much and this woman was what I was afraid for. It took me back so much that I asked my boss if this was something we should report to authorities. A week later they tell me they don't think I'm suited for this line of work and show me the door.
My father in law served in the RAF in Germany in the early 80s. He was a driver but was somehow given the job of body Collector for the local morgue along with a few others.
He's told us loads of stories, but one that sticks out the most was when they were called to a railway line.
They were told to bring shovels. That's when they knew it was bad. He said all they could do was shovel as much as what was left of the man, onto a gurney.
He then told us how he'll never forget the sound of the remains sliding off the gurney into the body bag.
"It was basically human soup"
I just can't with some people. Well, to be honest, I just can't with most people.
I often just don't have the time, or the mental and emotional bandwidth to figure most people out.
Too many of us are just cemented in our ways. And that can be a turn-off to the rest of the world. I've lost track of the number of conversations I've had where I couldn't connect with a person because they refuse to try.
Redditor u/RTGac wanted to have a conversation about some folks we encounter throughout life, by asking:
What sorts of folks do you refuse to take seriously?
I stay out of any and all political conversations online these days. That is a group (mob) of people who I can't take seriously, because they have lost the thread. And it's coming from all sides.
Service ConcernsArrested Development Do Not Want GIFGiphy
"People who treat customer service like trash."
"Customer service who treat people like trash."
I AM THIS
"People that base their whole identity on one thing."
"Especially when they have no personal contribution to said thing, aka Super Fans. A person who lives and breathes for swimming or cooking or some other activity that requires skill is totally different from somebody who just obsessed over a show or Fandom or whatever bullcrap."
Behind the Curve
"Oh there's definitely at least 100. They have conventions and crap. But yeah still the minority. There is a very fun and interesting documentary about them called Behind the Curve which I recommend if you're interested."
The worst part?
"Anti-vaxxers, anti-masks, holocaust deniers and more recently, "gravity deniers". These people makes me lose faith in humanity sometimes. They think the force of gravity was invented, or just doesn't exist. It resonates with some flat-earthers... the concept of gravity is correlated with a spherical planetary mass with a force pulling everything to the ground (center of the mass)."
"To the earth be plane, some believe that what keeps our feet on the ground is bc this plate is always moving upwards. The worst part? I know all this freaking disgraceful bull. Somehow I lost to them by occupying my already small brain with this crap."
Question Peopletinder swiping GIFGiphy
"At what point can someone be seen as a "redditor"? I use it a lot but I don't consider it to be a part of my identity whatsoever. It's just an app I use to pass time. I rarely talk about it to anyone."
Oh reddit. You are a quirky beast aren't you? And customer service, there is so much vitriol being thrown about, I'm opting to just stay home.
All about You!Pick Me Season 10 GIF by RuPaul's Drag RaceGiphy
"People who think that the fact they have problems negate the fact that others have problems. Shockingly, many types of problems can exist simultaneously."
"People who get their news off social media. I mean more the people who will take social media as gospel. I will hear things and do research outside of social media to hear the actual information. And even then it's all from biased perspectives. So I read both lmao. Fox and CNN so I can get both sides"
"I do, but before i tell anyone about it I search for the whole article online so that I don't accidentally lie to my loved ones."
"People who won't even try to think about how other people feel about things wether it be political, religious or just something petty and instead act like their world view is the correct one. Reddit can be a bit of echo chamber for any and all political/social beliefs. Some sub Reddit's get banned just because they are too right wing or too left wing and I'm totally against that crap people should be able to say what they want unless it's threats of violence. Reddit ain't perfect when it comes to to censorship."
"Oh, must be nice"
"There's also the people you know who are always broke or in heavy debt and can't afford anything. Who always sarcastically scoff "Oh, must be nice" when you mention you went on a vacation or bought yourself something new, because they suck at finances and can't let others enjoy themselves."
For Sure!Angry Excuse Me GIF by JinGiphy
"People who are 100% sure about literally anything, and 1-uppers you know the people who always have or did or something the same as you or someone else but better somehow."
Wow there are a ton of messy humans running amok. Is it any wonder why the rest of us drink? And I loathe 1-uppers. I had to say that!
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Goods and services are always going to have a cost. Such is life.
Something overpriced where you live? Let's talk about it.
What is incredibly overpriced in your country?
We're certainly paying a lot for the tiny super computers in our pockets, aren't we?
Paying To Pay To Use A Phone
"Cellphone service fees."
"It's insane. I just got here and wanted to setup a phone plan. Visited 3 store until I understood this where the regular prices. I'm not even paying a 10th in Europe of what I'm paying here."
"Mobile data. Canada pays some of the highest prices in the world for mobile data."
"In Finland I pay about 20€ for unlimited phone calls, text messages and data (they are truly unlimited)."
"20 dollars in canada gets you about 100 minutes calling, free texts and 200mb of internet lol, its unreal"
It isn't just America, before you go assuming we're the most over costed country in the world. Turns out others might have to be paying a lot more than we are for goods and services.
"An RTX 3090."
"Jokes aside, gas at the moment. It used to be €1.60 per litre. Now it's up to €2.05 per litre. When we go to Germany for some gasoline it's around €1.60 where it used to be between €1.30 - €1.45"
"F*ck! That's $9.01 a gallon!! At to think I was bummed gas here is ~$3.75/gal (~€0.86/L?)"
Paying A Lot For The Bare Minimum
"Housing. It's a travesty."
"Tell me you live in NZ without telling me you live in NZ..."
"As an Aussie, NZ is my affordable alternative."
"Good luck finding a beach front peice of land for 200k here with a less than 1 hour commute to the city."
"Plus, in NZ, you can buy old houses and have then transported on a truck."
"I was doing math the other day"
"Beach front land - $195k"
"Restored 1920s house - $90-110k"
"Transport, foundation setting and connection - $75k-$100k"
"Approx $400k for a really great set up. In Australia you pay more than that for a sh-t apartment that catches fire, in a leaning building, with no resale value."
Contrasts Between The Two
"Most things in Australia except food…a trip to the US is an eye opener re cars,clothes,electronics etc…"
"I would expect food here to be substantially more costly than the US. Take out is real expensive unless you're buying something very unhealthy like Maccas, which frankly doesn't seem cheap either"
"American supermarkets are weirdly expensive. Their restaurants are crazy, crazy cheap"
USA? Are we really "the best" when we can't take care of the people who need it the most?
Ohhh, Bootstraps. That's All We Need.
"Housing, childcare, and medical services/insurance."
"Geeze bud. Don't buy a house have kids or get sick if you can't afford it. Do you have bootstraps you could try? /s"
Step one: acquire bootstraps
Step two: pull
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit"
Just Pay Your Workers? Maybe?
"Tipping. Not just restaurant waitstaff but everyone…at hair salons, hotels, taxis, coffee, tour guide or anything travel related, bar. It's no problem to tip the individuals trying to make a living, but it's ridiculous that we as patrons are expected to pay for these companies labor costs based on how the US functions"
"It's getting really out of control in the beauty service industry especially. Lots of people rent a small room or just a chair in a salon to say, do lash extensions or hair coloring. Or they own their own salon outright. These aren't people making under minimum wage and working for someone else. They own their own business and set their own prices. And yet they still demand a 20% tip minimum."
"Just charge me the price you expect to make and don't do this BS tip song and dance that just makes it awkward for everyone."
"Have the time they also act like they're doing you a huge favor by even allowing you to be graced by their presence. Thankfully with YouTube I've learned to just do everything myself."
"Sorry.... How..... How is that the most expensive... It's literally free?.... Oh.... American I presume?"
"Our country charges $1000 for a life saving medicine that other countries charge $30 for because Capitalism."
Leaving Hawaii To Hang With Their Pricey Milk
"In the 50th state."
"Milk and gas."
"7 bucks a gallon "
"try and guess which one I'm talking about."
"Hawaii or Alaska?"
"I can get mine for $2.72/gallon"
"We do have to have lactaid, so I actually pay $5.72/gallon"
Be smart, try to see when someone is trying to pull one over on you, and always be willing to walk away to find a better deal when you can. That's not always going to be possible, but it's important to try.
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When I was a child, I wanted so badly for dragons to exist. To be fair, I had a bit of an obsession with stories of man-eating reptiles and serpents after watching The Lair of the White Worm at too young an age. (Thank you for rocking my world, Ken Russell.)
Sadly... they don't. And if they did, I gather they'd probably pose a major national security risk!
People told us all about the mythical creatures they wish actually existed after Redditor Nymeria asked the online community,
"What creature from folklore do you think exists or once existed?"
"Amphisbaena - two-headed snake, said to have been created from the blood of Medusa's severed head.
The animal is Amphisbaena vermicularis which is a legless type of lizard, and since it digs through earth most of its life, its head and tail look alike to the untrained eye, hence the misconception that it is a two-headed snake."
A likely story from the two-headed snake propaganda team!
"Nobody mentioned Rocs or Thunderbirds? I mean I'm generally skeptical of cryptid stuff but of all the ones on the list, big ol' bird seems pretty plausible to me. I figure the whole elephant lifting, thunder flapping thing is big fish story stuff but I could see something like Argentavis surviving to the time of stone age man and god knows Quetzalcoatlus gives a pretty good idea how ridiculously large a creature can get and still be capable of flight. Who knows what's sitting in the fossil record with a Neanderthal clutched in its beak."
"The pouakai, a monstrous bird from Maori folklore, is more than likely a memory of the Haast's eagle from southern New Zealand. It's main prey were the also-unbelievably giant moa birds, but I imagine it would have little difficulty carrying off a small human child. So indeed, perhaps there are other long-gone giant raptor birds that posed a threat to early humans and then grew even larger in their imaginations."
"The family that lived there..."
"The mysterious so-called "flabby egg monster" at Glamis Castle, in Scotland.
I think it existed, but the mysterious and inaccurate folklore around it basically masked what it really was. It's far more likely that this was a highly disabled or otherwise deformed member of the family that was kept hidden from public view, with accounts from the time suggest something that sounds an awful lot like what we now know as Noonan Syndrome. People with Noonan Syndrome can have totally normal lifespans which explains why it went on for so long.
The family that lived there had a long history of genetic abnormalities, including one of the Queen Mother's own relatives who was hidden from public view and died in 2014."
"Since we didn't really start..."
"Definitely something in the sea. Since we didn't really start truly exploring underwater or polluting it except for the past 100 years or so. I definitely could've seen some near-extinct rare sea serpent-type thing living well beyond the rest of its race. Hell, even today we find new creatures once thought extinct in the depths."
I remember how much it blew my mind to learn about the discovery of the coelacanth, which were thought to have become extinct in the Late Cretaceous, around 66 million years ago, but were rediscovered in 1938 off the coast of South Africa!
"The current information..."
"The current information we have on different species of humans before ours won out really makes me believe that stories of dwarves and woodland elves might come from a place of truth."
This is exactly why I enjoyed watching Trollhunter.
"I think a lot..."
"I think a lot of folklore creatures were probably based on stories of real animals from far-off places, just heavily distorted with time and retelling by generations of people who'd never actually seen it."
"I think there was a species..."
"Humans have a fear or natural revulsion to things that look human but not quite human (think uncanny valley). Natural fears help keep us alive, for example, most people don't like spiders because they present a real danger to us and they move in a decidedly unhuman way. I think there was a species that almost looked human but was a predator to humans until we got smart enough to hunt them into extinction. It's probably the source of skinwalker legends."
Have you read a few skinwalker legends? They're terrifying stuff. Do not recommend reading about them late at night!
"But I certainly doubt..."
"Nessie is probably based off a real aquatic prehistoric animal. But I certainly doubt she actually exists in Loch Ness. If you wanted to take a picture of Nessie you are millions of years too late."
Sadly, Nessie continues to evade us. It just wants to be left alone!
"I honestly think..."
"I honestly think there's a solid chance Bigfoot or something extremely similar exists out there."
Where are you, mythical creatures?
If you're hiding out somewhere, I can't say I blame any of you. Humans will just find a way to capitalize off you.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
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It's always nice to be complimented, isn't it?
Maybe? It might have been a compliment?
What is the strangest compliment you have ever received?
It's nice to be given recognition for the work we do, for the effort we put in to the things we get done.
It can still feel weird when it happens.
In Today's Day And Age, That Matters
"I was washing my hands in a gas station, and this lady told me I'm very good at washing my hands. Then she leaned close and said, "No, really. I'm a health inspector, and I'm very impressed."
Don't Ignore Those Calf Raises
"Years ago, I was working out at my high school's gym. This young lady approaches me and says something along those lines "It's completely unjust! I'll never have ankles as good as yours, no matter how much I work out! You're f-cked!" Prior to storming out. I'm also a man."
Upside! Otters Are Cute.
"When you cry, you look like a sad otter. It's very cute."
"Said to me as a 27 year old man."
"In their defense, otters are adorable. And age is not inversely proportional to adorableness."
You can only gauge so much from a person just by looking at them. To really know them, you have to get to really know them.
In these circumstances, these people were clearly enigma's to others.
What An Odd Prediction
"I was minding my own business in a New York bar. I was sleepy and yawned a lot because it was late."
"This random person who I'd never met before approaches me and asks me a question "Are you a native of Boston? You yawn the way people in Boston movies yawn."
"I am from Boston, and he was from Norway."
"You have a very swan like voice". She did mean it as a compliment but she'd never heard a swan so she was just going off of how swans look."
"I imagine they sound like angry geese, which doesn't sound like it'd be a compliment, or it'd be a passive-aggressive insult"
Blessed Be You, Sir
"A homeless man once yelled out 'Heyyyy sexy Jesus!' at me."
"So that was nice."
People like what they like. If someone says they appreciate a part of your body, first, make sure you're comfortable with it and, if you're not, tell someone, and second, it takes all kinds.
Ready To Start Dropping Kids
"I was told by a random lady in the grocery store that i have birthing hips, i am a 26yo man. Not sure if it was a compliment, but it was definitely strange."
You Don't Know What You've Got...?
"I was told that I have nice legs by some random guy that didn't have legs at Wal-Mart once."
Just Because You're Dead Doesn't Mean You Skip Leg Day
"I was dressed as a zombie for a scare acting job at a haunted house - full-on gore, horrendous outfit, the works."
"I scared a group of lads and then as they were walking away I heard - "Dude, was it just me or did that zombie have a fantastic @ss?"
"Stupid sexy zombie..."
In To My Sweet Sense Of Fashion
"A random girl passed me at the mall one time. We made eye contact for maybe a second. Then she just said "Nice pants" and kept on walking. My roommate said she was talking about my butt, but I like to think I had some sweet pants on that day."
Take the compliment?
Wins are so rare in this day and age, you should take the 'W' whenever you can it seems.