May 6, 2020 6:07 pm
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The spiky contact lenses are actually called ‘eye caps’ and are used in funeral homes.

When people die in films, someone often manually closes their eyes.

But in real life the eyes of the deceased often remain partially open – which can be unnerving for loved ones.

That’s why funeral homes use ‘eye caps’. These look and are worn much like contact lenses. They slip between the eye and the eyelid of the dead person and they have little ridges or spikes on them to hold the eyes shut and to keep the natural curvature of the eye.

In fact there are a load of different techniques that are used to make the human body look peaceful and “normal” after death.

Some patients who have donated or lost their eyes require full eye prosthetics – these look a bit like small ping-pong balls and can have the eye cap spikes on one side of them.

Prosthetics are used when the dead person has donated or lost their eyes

The mouth is closed with a special needle injector gun, as explained in this Reddit thread, which drives a needle with a piece of wire attached into the lower and upper jaws and then twisted together. A mouth former – which works in a similar way to the eye caps – can be used to keep the lips in place.

Perhaps best known is the embalming process which is much like a blood transfusion, but the blood is swapped for water and formaldehyde. This prevents the deep purplish-red discolouration of the body and preserves it for longer.

Orifice sealant can be used – using a sealant gun much like how you’d apply grouting – which can block a rather alarming problem known as “purge”.

Purge is when liquid starts coming out of the mouth, nose, ears, urethra or rectum and comes in different colours depending on where it comes from. It can be caused by too much embalming fluid, haemorrhage or gas pressure.

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This post was written by Nadia Vella