Well, I can think of a million bad things to happen at a funeral, but this certainly takes the cake. King Henry VIII exploded in his coffin at his own funeral. Disgusting if I may say so myself, and hardly befitting a monarch. But it’s what happened after Henry VIII exploded in his coffin that really makes this one of the more disgusting things that we have ever come across.
King Henry VIII is a man who hardly needs an introduction. He is well known as being the over weight king of England who developed a habit of divorcing many wives, most often at the edge of an axe. Ruling England at the end of the 16th century, he had very little patience for women in particular. Especially those who he was married to and failed to deliver him a male heir. But if it weren’t for his terrible treatment of women, the English Reformation may have never taken place, and England could still be a Catholic country today. After all, the only way he could divorce his many wives was by creating his own church. Take that over priced fancy lawyers.
But even though he knew how to silence an ex wife in a way that very few men know how to, he is probably better known for being excessively overweight. Like, really freaking fat. But he wasn’t always fat like this, and at one stage is was really fit and athletic. He was so fit that if he were alive today people would say that he was ripped. But following an accident, and the discovery of deliciously cooked fatty and unhealthy food, he kind of let himself go, in a big way. Being almost utterly confined to his bed, this tyrant went from an athletic build in his 20’s, to an astounding 400 pounds (181 kg) at his heaviest.
After spending a decade in pain from his many illnesses, and eating himself to obesity, he died. As his body was being transported in a lead lined coffin to his final resting place in St George’s Chapel, the unthinkable happened. As his body lay overnight at at Syon Monastery, the body of Henry VIII exploded in his coffin, spilling onto the floor. As luck would have it, some dogs were on hand to lick up the spilled remains of the once almighty powerful king of England. This event has also been tied to a prophesy that a friar once preached to him twelve years earlier.
that God’s judgements were ready to fall upon his head and that dogs would lick his blood, as they had done to Ahab, And Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.
But this leaves one unanswered question. Why did it happen, and is it even possible?
Why and how king Henry VIII exploded in his coffin
Death is one of those things that we try and put off for as long as we can. But once it has occurred, strange things can happen to the corpse. One of these strange things is bloating, which has nothing to do with how fat someone is.
When a person dies the body starts to decompose, or break down into simpler organic material. This decomposition creates gases, which are part of the process. The gases get caught inside the body, most often inside the abdomen, and the body begins to look bloated. The gases will continue to build until they can escape, which happens when the body ruptures, and spills the contents of the deceased. This rarely happens today thanks to embalming. The embalming process delays the decomposition process, and preserves the body. While embalming was in use at the time of Henry VIII’s death, it was not as refined as it is today, and his body may have never undergone the procedure.