Scintillating ScienceThe state of rigor mortis, or the stiffening of the body is a well known phenomenon, and happens anywhere between 2 to 6 hours after death.

A less well-known stage is the algor mortis, or the ‘death chill’. Through this stage, the body gradually cools to room temperature at the rate of 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit per hour. This allows us an easy method to detect time of death if we can reach a body before it has stabilized to the surrounding temperature.