Question: how long will it take for you to die if your head gets cut off?

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  1. Well, without oxygen the brain takes about 6 minutes to die. However, you will fall unconscious straight away because there will be no oxygen to your brain. Organs that require the brain would stop straight away and the rest would die quickly from lack of oxygen.

    So by that definition it would take six minutes, but you would be unconscious for that 6 minutes and have no hope of being saved.


  2. This is a brilliant question and quite controversial too! During the French Revolution, lots of people were decapitated and there were lots of stories of heads that blinked up to 30 seconds after they had been separated from their bodies – Gross!

    Scientifically this is a difficult question to study, as I don’t want to do any experiments on human decapitation and I hope no one else does to. But there have been some experiments that measured the brain waves in rats after decapitation.

    The researchers concluded that consciousness probably vanishes within seconds after your head is cut off. This means decapitation is a quick and probably a humane way to die. BUT they saw a massive brain wave about one minute after decapitation which might reflect the ultimate border between life and death. Freaky… measuring death itself!



  1. Thats somewhat disturbing, but also quite fascinating. Even though you probably couldn’t accurately determine anything, since it would be near impossible to conduct an experiment on a recently decapitated human, it would be interesting to find out how your body reacts after such trauma.