It's not news that plastic surgery has pretty much become a normal thing nowadays. Expensive but still readily available, changing the shape of your nose or enhancing the size of your breasts is almost as easy as trying out a new hair color for the summer. But have you ever wondered what happens to all of these artificial bits and pieces we're willingly having installed into our bodies after we die? Do they break down with us, or when all is said and done, is the only thing left of us going to be a brittle skeleton and two big balloons of silicone?
Morbid, yes, but still pretty fascinating.
Luckily, we have L.A. mortician and YouTube vlogger Caitlyn Doughty to give us the answer. Lover of all things death, Caitlyn's entire channel, Ask A Mortician, is dedicated to answering all of the ghoulish and gruesome questions we may have about the afterlife. But what about fake boobs? Do they leak chemicals into the earth, mutating bugs into super-beings that start the apocalypse like we always suspected?
Turns out, not so much.
In her video, Caitlyn describes details her own experience with the breast implants of the dead. Basically, if a body comes to the crematorium with strangely large pair of you-know-whats, most morticians will not remove them before cremation. When the body is then cremated, what is left is an inorganic pile of bones, with all other parts (organs, skin, muscle) dissolved away. Breast implants, on the other hand, will melt down in the furnace, creating what Caitlyn refers to as a "gelatinous goo."
But apparently, the Cremation Association of North America has no problem scraping the goo off the machine, and continuing on their merry way. Gross.
If the body is not being cremated, the BBC says that the implants will one again be left in. When the body is buried, the implants, like the rest of the body, will decompose naturally. And no, it will not cause a league of mutated bugs bent on human destruction (were we the only ones who thought that?)
So there you have it. Next time you're considering getting some alternations, remember, when you move from this world to the next, you may be leaving behind some fascinating curiosities for anthropologists of the future.