At the “body farm” human remains are scattered across the ground as the flesh slowly rots from the bones. There are dozens of bodies strewn about. Some are complete cadavers, others just a smattering of limbs and organs. But this isn’t a scene from some gruesome mass murder; these bodies are here for science.
The Forensic Anthropology Research Facility (FARF) is a 26-acre outdoor human decomposition research lab at Texas State University’s Freeman Ranch. It is currently home to about 50 donated bodies. Some of the cadavers are confined in cages to be studied for bacterial decomposition. Others lay unprotected in the scalding sun so researchers can track the effects of scavenging.
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