1. The practice of burying the dead may date back 350,000 years, as evidenced by a 45-foot-deep pit in Atapuerca, Spain, filled with the fossils of 27 hominids of the species Homo heidelbergensis, a possible ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans.
2. Never say die: There are at least 200 euphemisms for death, including "to be in Abraham's bosom," "just add maggots," and "sleep with the Tribbles" (a Star Trek favorite).
2. 大家都忌讳说“死”字。英语里便至少有200种死亡的委婉说法，包括“to be in Abraham's bosom” 、“just add maggots”和“sleep with the Tribbles” (《星际旅行》里常用)。
3. No American has died of old age since 1951.
4. That was the year the government eliminated that classification on death certificates.
5. The trigger of death, in all cases, is lack of oxygen. Its decline may prompt muscle spasms, or the "agonal phase," from the Greek word agon, or contest.
5. 所有的死亡都是缺氧引起的。缺氧会导致肌肉痉挛或“垂死挣扎阶段”(“agonal phase”)。“Agonal phase”一词源自希腊语 agon (挣扎) 。
6. Within three days of death, the enzymes that once digested your dinner begin to eat you. Ruptured cells become food for living bacteria in the gut, which release enough noxious gas to bloat the body and force the eyes to bulge outward.
7. So much for recycling: Burials in America deposit 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid—formaldehyde, methanol, and ethanol—into the soil each year. Cremation pumps dioxins, hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide into the air.
7. 就甭提回收利用了：美国墓地每年把827060加仑的涂尸防腐液(甲醛、甲醇和乙醇) 排到到地里。火葬会把二氧(杂)芑、盐酸、二氧化硫和二氧化碳排放到大气中。
8. Alternatively . . . A Swedish company, Promessa, will freeze-dry your body in liquid nitrogen, pulverize it with high-frequency vibrations, and seal the resulting powder in a cornstarch coffin. They claim this "ecological burial" will decompose in 6 to 12 months.
8. 另一方面, 一家瑞典公司(Promessa)可以在液氮中冻干尸体，再用高频率振动将尸体粉碎，然后把粉末密封在一口玉米淀粉做成的棺材里。他们宣称这种“生态埋葬法”会在6到12个月内开始分解腐烂。
9 Zoroastrians in India leave out the bodies of the dead to be consumed by vultures.
10 The vultures are now dying off after eating cattle carcasses dosed with diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory used to relieve fever in livestock.
11. Queen Victoria insisted on being buried with the bathrobe of her long-dead husband, Prince Albert, and a plaster cast of his hand.
12. If this doesn't work, we're trying in vitro! In Madagascar, families dig up the bones of dead relatives and parade them around the village in a ceremony called famadihana. The remains are then wrapped in a new shroud and reburied. The old shroud is given to a newly married, childless couple to cover the connubial bed.
12. 如果这还不行，我们就试体外受精！在马达加斯加岛，人们会挖出亲人的尸骨，在名为 “翻尸换衣仪式”(Famadihana) 的全村游行上展示。然后，尸骨会用新麻布包起来重新埋葬。旧的裹尸布给新婚燕尔、尚未生育的夫妇用来铺婚床。
13. During a railway expansion in Egypt in the 19th century, construction companies unearthed so many mummies that they used them as fuel for locomotives.
14. Well, yeah, there's a slight chance this could backfire: English philosopher Francis Bacon, a founder of the scientific method, died in 1626 of pneumonia after stuffing a chicken with snow to see if cold would preserve it.
15. For organs to form during embryonic development, some cells must commit suicide. Without such programmed cell death, we would all be born with webbed feet, like ducks.
16. Waiting to exhale: In 1907 a Massachusetts doctor conducted an experiment with a specially designed deathbed and reported that the human body lost 21 grams upon dying. This has been widely held as fact ever since. It's not.
17. Buried alive: In 19th-century Europe there was so much anecdotal evidence that living people were mistakenly declared dead that cadavers were laid out in "hospitals for the dead" while attendants awaited signs of putrefaction.
18. Eighty percent of people in the United States die in a hospital.
19. If you can't make it here . . . More people commit suicide in New York City than are murdered.
19. 要是你等不及到医院… 在纽约市自杀的比被杀的人还要多。
20. It is estimated that 100 billion people have died since humans began.