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我们死后,我们的身体会发生什么? – 译学馆
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我们死后,我们的身体会发生什么?

What happens to our bodies after we die? - Farnaz Khatibi Jafari

自人类出现至今
Since the dawn of humanity,
估计有1008亿的人 来过这个世界 又离开了
an estimated 100.8 billion people have lived and died,
每年 人口增长的数量相当于世界总人口的0.8%
a number that increases by about .8% of the world’s population each year.
那么这些人死后 身体会出现什么情况呢
What happens to all of those people’s bodies after they die
地球上还会剩下 可以埋葬人类的地方吗
and will the planet eventually run out of burial space?
当某人的心脏停了跳动
When a person’s heart stops beating,
在他的身体腐烂前 经过了几个阶段
the body passes through several stages before it begins decomposing.
在死后的几分钟内
With in minutes after death,
血液开始凝固 大部分都沉淀到身体的最下面
the blood begins settling in the lower-most parts of the body.
通常8到12小时后
Usually eight to twelve hours later,
那些地方的皮肤会褪色成为尸斑 也就是死后斑点
the skin in those areas is discolored by livor mortis, or post-mortem stain.
而在死亡的那一瞬间 身体的肌肉就会完全放松下来
And while at the moment of death the body’s muscles relax completely
这被称为主萎
in a condition called primary flaccidity,
在死后的2到6小时之后 肌肉会变得僵硬 也就是所谓的死后僵直
they stiffen about two to six hours later in what’s known as rigor mortis.
肌肉又将这种僵直 扩散至全身
This stiffening spreads through the muscles,
扩散的速度 取决于年龄 性别 还有周围的环境
and its speed can be affected by age, gender, and the surrounding environment.
体温也会发生变化
The body also changes temperature,
通常会冷却到与周遭环境相同的温度
usually cooling off to match its environment.
接下来 就是腐烂
Next comes decomposition,
腐烂 就是细菌和昆虫分解身体的过程
the process by which bacteria and insects break apart the body.
有许多因素会影响到腐烂的速度
Many factors affect the rate of decomposition.
环境对腐烂速度的影响 基于一种规律
There is, however, a basic guide of the effect of the environment on decomposition
叫做卡斯帕定律的定义
called Casper’s Law.
即是说 在所有其他因素都相同的情况下
It says that if all other factors are equal,
将尸体暴露在空气中 比放在水中的腐烂速度要快了一倍
a body exposed to air decomposes twice as fast as one immersed in water
相当于埋在泥土里时腐烂速度的八倍
and eight times as fast as one buried in earth.
土壤的酸度 也会大大影响到骨骼的保存
Soil acidity also greatly affects bone preservation.
高酸性土壤ph值小于5.23
High-acidity soils with a pH of less than 5.3
会迅速分解骨骼
will rapidly decompose bone,
而中性或碱性土壤的ph值为7或者以上
whereas in a neutral or basic soil with a pH of 7 or more,
在一个比较好的状态下 骨骼可以保留一个世纪
a skeleton can remain in relatively good condition for centuries.
历史上 不同的文明涌现出了许多不同的埋葬方法
Different cultures throughout history have developed unique approaches to burials.
追溯到 第一个尼安德特人的葬礼
As far back as the first Neanderthal burials,
对于丧葬 有一定的规矩
death was accompanied by rituals,
比如 尸体的安放 尸体的妆容 和尸体的衣着
like the positioning, coloring, or decorating of corpses.
在传统基督教葬礼上 尸体应该穿着裙子
Traditional Christian burials decorate the body in dress,
而在传统的伊斯兰教的仪式上
while in traditional Islam,
尸体只要裹着一块布
a body is wrapped in a piece of ritual fabric
尸体面向麦加
with the face oriented toward Mecca.
在传统的印度仪式上 尸体是被焚烧的
Traditional Hindus ceremonially burn the body,
琐罗亚斯德教——最古老的神论宗教的后继者
and Zoroastrians, followers of one of the oldest monotheistic religions,
在它们的传统仪式上 尸体被置于塔顶曝露在太阳之下
traditionally place bodies atop a tower to expose them to the Sun
鸟儿们会来吃腐肉
and scavenging birds.`
在工业革命以前 埋葬的方式是很简单 而且哪里都可以
Before the Industrial Revolution, burials were simple and accessible.
如今 随着人口密集地区中墓地数量的减少
These days, with suitable burial land running out in high-population areas,
想要购买私人墓地 价格不菲
purchasing private gravesites can be costly,
很多人连基本的葬礼费都承担不起
and many people can’t afford simple burials.
即使是火葬 这个世界上第二个常见的埋葬方式
Even cremation, the second most common burial practice in the world,
也需要很高的成本
comes with a high cost.
由于空间不足
As for the question of running out of space,
这个问题并不在于 全球的土地资源有多少
the issue isn’t so much about total land in the world
而是城市之中 聚集了庞大的人口
as it is that large populations cluster together within cities.
世界上大多数的大城市
Most of the big cities in the world
可能在一个世纪之内 所有的墓地都将被卖完
may run out of suitable burial grounds within a century.
对伦敦而言 可能时间更短
For London, it’s even sooner.
可能到2035年 就没有地了
That may happen by 2035.
所以 是否有办法 能取代传统的埋葬方式?
So are there alternatives to traditional burials
还能缓解空间不足的问题
that might help with the space issue?
在有些国家中 摩天大楼一样的墓地能够垂直地堆放尸体
In some countries, skyscraper cemeteries enable vertical burials.
另一些国家 注重尸体和环境的联系
Some options focus on the body’s relationship with the environment.
例如 把尸体冷干 然后粉碎
Promotion, for example, freeze-dries and pulverizes the body,
变成粉末 然后 在和氧气和水的混合下
creating a powder that can turn into compost
变成肥料
when mixed with oxygen and water.
还有一种绿色的葬礼 使用特殊的材料
There are also green burials that use special materials,
如生物可降解的棺材
such as biodegradable caskets,
可以使小树苗发芽的骨灰盒
urns that sprout trees,
还有 可以长出蘑菇的寿衣
and burial suits that grow mushrooms.
在海洋深处 永恒的珊瑚礁
Eternal reefs take that concept to the depths of the ocean
因为灰和水泥的混合 成为了海洋生物的栖息之所
using a mixture of ashes and cement to create marine habitats for sea life.
死亡是人类难以避免的情况
Death is an inevitable part of the human condition,
但是 我们该如何对待尸体 如何墓葬尸体 还有待改进
but how we treat bodies and burials continues to evolve.
也许我们 传承不同的精神
We may each have different spiritual,
信仰不同的宗教
religious,
施行不同的葬礼
or practical approaches to dying,
但是 对于墓地需求的不断增长
but the ever-increasing demand for burial space
或许将会激励我们 寻找新的答案
might give us a push to be creative
人生尽头 身体将何去何从
about where our bodies go after the final stages of life.

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