PDA

View Full Version : Is THAT decapitation scene realistic?



MickyDaLips
09-19-2014, 01:38 PM
The Assassins Creed Unity co-op trailer has a fairly graphic decapitation scene, I was wondering, is this realistic? I found some pretty convincing reading to suggest that yes, it is! I found this interesting, wondered what you guys thought. For those of you who prefer to not watch the video, here's the text I found:

http://blog.soulwire.co.uk/notes/miscellany/the-guillotined-head-of-languille


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAPgPHLxYnc

Gin0r
09-19-2014, 02:47 PM
I always thought that the thing that the head briefly stays alive after decapitation was a legend, but even the straight dope guys arenít sure: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1172/does-the-head-remain-briefly-conscious-after-decapitation

Iím not a doctor but I think that the shock of being decapitated is enough to immediately render the brain unconscious and any movement are just spasms... like chickensí bodies sometimes run around after being decapitated.

JustPlainQuirky
09-19-2014, 03:09 PM
What gin0r said.

It's just body spasms.

you don't actually proccess anything me thinks.

Aphex_Tim
09-19-2014, 03:12 PM
That's the frustrating thing. No one lived to tell about it. :p

MickyDaLips
09-19-2014, 03:18 PM
An interesting read there, thanks.

I think some twitching etc is undoubtedly caused by spasms, as obviously the spinal cord has just been dealt a massive blow, I don't tho think that that covers all movements, ditto. shock.

Purely for the sake of discussion I'd like to mention a couple of points, without laying any claim that what I posit is 'the truth'.

You may have heard of phantom pains associated with limb loss, where someone who has lost a limb can still complain of pain from that limb, or even report sensations of it moving and still being there. One theory is that neurological pathways that would normally report sensation for such stimuli still exist within the brain, and if neighbouring neurons/pathways are stimulated, the activity can be picked up and misinterpreted by the brain.

It is also widely accepted that the brain lives for several minutes without oxygen, CPR simply wouldn't work if this was not the case.

I'd say that for some time after decapitation, the brain is still going to be active, in a lot, maybe the vast majority, the shoch may well easilly be enough to cause a total shutdown, but I'd be inclined to believe that some at least would actually have an inkling of what just happened, then maybe a delayed shock would kick in.

On the flip side tho, as a species we are incredibly adept at reading facial expression/language, to the point that we can and will 'see' language that isn't actually there, an instance is when we 'see' human expressions on a dog/cat. they don't have human expressions at all, but we anthropomorphise what we see so it makes sense.

It is entirely possible that someone witness a decapitated head will 'see' emotions and expressions that don't actually exist from the point of view that the head is trying to express something, but instead subconsciously making sense out of involuntary movements.

Either way, when I first saw the scene I did think it was a bit unrealistic, possibly gratuitously so, I'm forced to think my initial view was wrong :)

Sushiglutton
09-19-2014, 03:27 PM
Reminds me of a news story lately in which a Chinese chef was killed by a snake head he had chopped off twenty minutes earlier: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/chef-cooking-snake-dies-after-4088634

On the topic I don't really know, not sure I want to think about it too much ;)

DumbGamerTag94
09-19-2014, 03:30 PM
I could have sworn I read somewhere that they did experiments about this during the French Revolution. In which they would ask the head of a victim to blink and they would on command. And other such similar things. I always thought they confirmed that the brain lives for minute or two after a swift decapitation such as guillotine or saber.

That's the whole reason they hold the head up after. Not so the crowd can see. But so the last thing the victim sees is the crowd.

It's for the uncertainty as to if they are alive for that minute or two that guillotines are considered cruel and unusual punishment in most countries.

guardian_titan
09-19-2014, 03:37 PM
1.) There have been experiments with decapitated heads with one being done in the early 1900s. A doctor got the decapitated head of a prisoner and kept yelling at it to keep its eyes open. The head responded to his yelling for several minutes.
2.) Russia performed some rather heinous experiments some time ago (want to say the 1940s to 1950s) concerning taking the head of a puppy and attaching it to the body of an adult dog. The two lived for several days before finally dying. It was said the older dog actually got bored of the puppy trying to play. X-Files did a movie (I Want to Believe, I think. The second one at any rate) regarding it. Truth is stranger than fiction. While the movie's fictitious, the experiment the movie's based on happened.

The Russia experiment, as gruesome as what it was, proves the head doesn't die immediately upon decapitation and can live long enough to be reattached. The other experiment shows the head can respond to interaction for several minutes. If the former were just spasms, then the latter wouldn't be true. The puppy would have died before being attached to the adult dog and then would have killed the adult dog a lot faster.

If the severed head's movements were only spasms, then yelling at it wouldn't really effect it any. That's like yelling at your knee and expecting it to jump without being hit. You have to hit your knee for it to move. That's like the myth of sneezing or coughing causes avalanches. Yeah ... no.

At any rate, no one ever lives to tell the tale so possible we'll never know ... especially since it's considered to not be a pleasant way to die.

... I really know too many random things. Really wish I didn't know the above. It gives me nightmares, especially since I'm an animal lover. :(

HiddenKiller612
09-19-2014, 03:45 PM
takes 6-10 seconds or more for your brain to comprehend that it is dead or removed from the body.

Aphex_Tim
09-19-2014, 03:49 PM
In the end I think it's just the lack of oxygen that kills the brain after a couple of seconds.

MickyDaLips
09-19-2014, 04:07 PM
In the end I think it's just the lack of oxygen that kills the brain after a couple of seconds.

If the lack of oxygen killed the brain after a couple of seconds cardiac rescusitation would only be successful within that timeframe. Medical/scientific opinion always points to averages of 3-4 minutes, some postulate even longer.

Aphex_Tim
09-19-2014, 04:34 PM
Forgot to mention blood as well.

MickyDaLips
09-19-2014, 04:55 PM
Forgot to mention blood as well.

Who did, you or me lol.

For the timeframe we're talking about, all that blood is doing to the brain is delivering oxygen, the brain doesn't die due to a lack of blood, but the o2 the blood carries.

jeffies04
09-19-2014, 06:12 PM
I was going to post like this but you guys beat me to it. I did some research on this not too long ago out of morbid curiosity. They were very interested in finding out if it were a truly "humane" way to die, as was its big selling point during it's invention.

They even had an empath come to "jump in" to a condemned man's body and tell of his experience. He said it was excruciating. Some experiments report eyes following to where the condemned's name was being called. No one knows for SURE, but a lot to this day theorize that you will have enough oxygen-rich blood already in your brain for about 20-30 seconds of useful consciousness.



I could have sworn I read somewhere that they did experiments about this during the French Revolution. In which they would ask the head of a victim to blink and they would on command. And other such similar things. I always thought they confirmed that the brain lives for minute or two after a swift decapitation such as guillotine or saber.

That's the whole reason they hold the head up after. Not so the crowd can see. But so the last thing the victim sees is the crowd.

It's for the uncertainty as to if they are alive for that minute or two that guillotines are considered cruel and unusual punishment in most countries.


1.) There have been experiments with decapitated heads with one being done in the early 1900s. A doctor got the decapitated head of a prisoner and kept yelling at it to keep its eyes open. The head responded to his yelling for several minutes.
2.) Russia performed some rather heinous experiments some time ago (want to say the 1940s to 1950s) concerning taking the head of a puppy and attaching it to the body of an adult dog. The two lived for several days before finally dying. It was said the older dog actually got bored of the puppy trying to play. X-Files did a movie (I Want to Believe, I think. The second one at any rate) regarding it. Truth is stranger than fiction. While the movie's fictitious, the experiment the movie's based on happened.

The Russia experiment, as gruesome as what it was, proves the head doesn't die immediately upon decapitation and can live long enough to be reattached. The other experiment shows the head can respond to interaction for several minutes. If the former were just spasms, then the latter wouldn't be true. The puppy would have died before being attached to the adult dog and then would have killed the adult dog a lot faster.

If the severed head's movements were only spasms, then yelling at it wouldn't really effect it any. That's like yelling at your knee and expecting it to jump without being hit. You have to hit your knee for it to move. That's like the myth of sneezing or coughing causes avalanches. Yeah ... no.

At any rate, no one ever lives to tell the tale so possible we'll never know ... especially since it's considered to not be a pleasant way to die.

... I really know too many random things. Really wish I didn't know the above. It gives me nightmares, especially since I'm an animal lover. :(

MnemonicSyntax
09-19-2014, 06:31 PM
I used to work EMS and I remember one call where a man was eviscerated at the waist. We had arrived late, but when my lead went to hop in the back of the bus to fill out the paperwork, the guy's legs ran out (as best they could anyway) when the back door opened. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it.

And there are reasons why I work in IT now and not in EMS, thank you very much.

Ureh
09-19-2014, 07:09 PM
I remember seeing a dismembered lizard's tail flop around and respond to external stimuli for a minute or so.

Also I remember seeing decapitated insect heads still able to move their antennas and mandibles for a few seconds.

LatinaC09
09-19-2014, 07:21 PM
I was going to post like this but you guys beat me to it. I did some research on this not too long ago out of morbid curiosity. They were very interested in finding out if it were a truly "humane" way to die, as was its big selling point during it's invention.

They even had an empath come to "jump in" to a condemned man's body and tell of his experience. He said it was excruciating. Some experiments report eyes following to where the condemned's name was being called. No one knows for SURE, but a lot to this day theorize that you will have enough oxygen-rich blood already in your brain for about 20-30 seconds of useful consciousness.

So if that's the case then....I guess it wasn't painless. For some reason I would imagine that it would be a quick death. Well..hopefully I won't need to ever find that out.

MnemonicSyntax
09-19-2014, 07:31 PM
So if that's the case then....I guess it wasn't painless. For some reason I would imagine that it would be a quick death. Well..hopefully I won't need to ever find that out.

If anything, the boon of being decapitated is that it is in fact quick and painless. However, there was a report a few years back of a chicken who was being beheaded by a butcher's cleaver, the cleaver missed, and the chicken basically had no head but was still living for at least 18 months after he lost his head. They used a medicine dropper to feed him, directly into his throat.

Oh, here's the Wikipedia article on it. XD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_the_Headless_Chicken

GunnerGalactico
09-19-2014, 07:33 PM
It is plausible. I saw a documentary on the History channel called Europe's Bloodiest Tales and they were talking about Anne Boleyn's execution. After she had addressed the crowd and said her final speech, she kneeled down on the scaffold and started reciting a psalm. Then the executioner dispatched her with one stroke of his sword, and even after her head was severed... her lips were still moving.

HDinHB
09-19-2014, 08:13 PM
I'm not sure I buy the testimony of an 18th century "empath" to relay the feelings of a decapitated head, but believe it's possible for the victim to remain conscious for some period of time. In any case, whether conscious or not, I think the video is pretty realistic compared to eye-witness accounts from the time. I'll wait for the Mythbusters decapitation episode.


http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/extrasensory-perceptions/lucid-decapitation2.htm
This was the case with Charlotte Corday, a woman executed by guillotine in France in 1793 after she assassinated the revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat.

After her head was severed, the executioner smacked its cheeks while he held it aloft. To the astonishment of the crowd, Corday's cheeks flushed and her facial expression changed into the "unequivocal marks of indignation" [source: Ernle, et al].

Corday was the first, though not the last, severed head reported to show the signs of consciousness following decapitation.

Locopells
09-20-2014, 12:28 AM
She just had her head cut off, and she's pissed at getting slapped?!

HDinHB
09-20-2014, 02:07 AM
LMAO @Loco...I guess that's the origin of "adding insult to injury."

LoyalACFan
09-20-2014, 09:26 AM
Heads living for a few moments after being decapitated sounds insane, but it actually has a ton of anecdotal evidence to back it up so I can buy that part of it. The unrealistic parts, IMO, were 1.) the head was impaled afterward, which should have destroyed the brain and killed him instantly (I know there are cases where severe brain trauma isn't fatal, i.e. Phineas Gage, but that's so unbelievably rare I can't give it a pass) and 2.) it's WAY harder to decapitate someone than movies would suggest. I'm unconvinced that a clumsy, one-handed saber strike would have done the job so cleanly.

pineal_gland
09-20-2014, 10:41 AM
http://fox4kc.com/2014/02/23/man-comes-back-to-life-after-being-clinically-dead-for-45-minutes/

Guy who came back to life after 45 minutes without heartbeat.. So 45 minutes without oxygen to the brain.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhcJNJbRJ6U

MickyDaLips
09-20-2014, 11:24 AM
I'm not sure I buy the testimony of an 18th century "empath" to relay the feelings of a decapitated head, [/SPOILER]

Hehe I have to agree with that :)


LMAO @Loco...I guess that's the origin of "adding insult to injury."

lol!


Heads living for a few moments after being decapitated sounds insane, but it actually has a ton of anecdotal evidence to back it up so I can buy that part of it. The unrealistic parts, IMO, were 1.) the head was impaled afterward, which should have destroyed the brain and killed him instantly (I know there are cases where severe brain trauma isn't fatal, i.e. Phineas Gage, but that's so unbelievably rare I can't give it a pass) and 2.) it's WAY harder to decapitate someone than movies would suggest. I'm unconvinced that a clumsy, one-handed saber strike would have done the job so cleanly.

1) When I was a nurse we had a patient with a brain-stem stroke, shoulda killed him, but he survived for years after it. The spike would obviously destroy the brain, but again, probably not instantaneously, at least the parts of the brain that weren't directly hit, in the same way that a stroke can make part(s) of the brain literally dead tissue, but the rest of the brain still functions.
2) It might have been done by an ancestor of Chuck Norris, he woulda been able to decapitate in one strike. Even with a kitchen knife.

MickyDaLips
09-20-2014, 11:44 AM
http://fox4kc.com/2014/02/23/man-comes-back-to-life-after-being-clinically-dead-for-45-minutes/

Guy who came back to life after 45 minutes without heartbeat.. So 45 minutes without oxygen to the brain.


'Claims without evidence can be dismissed without evidence'

No medical organisation would ever support a story or theory that the brain can survive without oxygen for 45 minutes.

That article seems like a typical FOX 'news' story, where they tend to not let facts get in the way of human interest stories :)

pineal_gland
09-20-2014, 01:22 PM
'Claims without evidence can be dismissed without evidence'

No medical organisation would ever support a story or theory that the brain can survive without oxygen for 45 minutes.

That article seems like a typical FOX 'news' story, where they tend to not let facts get in the way of human interest stories :)

Medical organisations don't have the full knowledge on how the universe works either...
Many of them are actually very much trapped within the materialistic scientific model they have been teached at their educations.
The thing is..not everything can be expained through materialstic science...It's just a man made model, not the absolute truth about reality.
We're basically all limited by our human senses, cultural programming etc.

I posted a fox news link because that's what the masses tend to see as an established news channel and because they don't post a lot about these kinds of subjects i think...
I can post links of many other news sites about the same story if you want to,

near death experiences aren't a new thing by the way... I have had a near death experience myself, so i know through personal experience that there is more to life than just "meaningless matter" (like we've been thought through the current atheist believe system)
Before i had my experience i had a very atheist mindset myself...mainly because i had an atheistic upbringing and my ignorance about spiritual matters. I was mainly so ignorant about spiritual matters because of all these backward religions like christianity and islam who wage wars in the name of "their god".

Everything is one. All things are connected. It doesn't matter if you think you're a christian, muslim or atheist...those are just made up labels, they have no base in reality whatsoever, except for the mess that is leaves when people tend to believe so...it's an illusion.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10407848_743575032347327_8145412698352426264_n.jpg ?oh=1f0f08a97ac5b7bb147e721f12481f34&oe=54CCD171&__gda__=1422857755_3701172549d98b1dbe077a71bc4fbc5 9

"Buddha was not a buddhist. Jesus was not a christian. Muhammad was not a muslim. They were teachers who taught love. Love was their religion."

LoyalACFan
09-20-2014, 01:28 PM
Medical organisations don't have the full knowledge on how the universe works either...
Many of them are actually very much trapped within the materialistic scientific model they have been teached at their educations.
The thing is..not everything can be expained through materialstic science...It's just a man made model, not the absolute truth about reality.
We're basically all limited by our human senses, cultural programming etc.

I posted a fox news link because that's what the masses tend to see as an established news channel and because they don't post a lot about these kinds of subjects i think...
I can post links of many other news sites about the same story if you want to,

near death experiences aren't a new thing by the way... I have had a near death experience myself, so i know through personal experience that there is more to life than just "meaningless matter" (like we've been thought through the current atheist believe system)
Before i had my experience i had a very atheist mindset myself...mainly because i had an atheistic upbringing and my ignorance about spiritual matters. I was mainly so ignorant about spiritual matters because of all these backward religions like christianity and islam who wage wars in the name of "their god".

Everything is one. All things are connected. It doesn't matter if you think you're a christian, muslim or atheist...those are just made up labels, they have no base in reality whatsoever, except for the mess that is leaves when people tend to believe so...it's an illusion.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10407848_743575032347327_8145412698352426264_n.jpg ?oh=1f0f08a97ac5b7bb147e721f12481f34&oe=54CCD171&__gda__=1422857755_3701172549d98b1dbe077a71bc4fbc5 9

"Buddha was not a buddhist. Jesus was not a christian. Muhammad was not a muslim. They were teachers who taught love. Love was their religion."

Holy ****.

eagleforlife1
09-20-2014, 02:32 PM
People might find this an interesting read:

http://www.miketheheadlesschicken.org/history

MickyDaLips
09-20-2014, 02:45 PM
Holy ****.

lol ahuh.. thread lockdown in 5...4...3....2....

Locopells
09-20-2014, 04:37 PM
Let's not bring religion into this please.

SpiritOfNevaeh
09-20-2014, 04:47 PM
Let's not bring religion into this please.

Yes please. Religion and politics do not belong on the forums. Leads to chaos. O_O;;

Landruner
09-21-2014, 03:22 PM
The Assassins Creed Unity co-op trailer has a fairly graphic decapitation scene, I was wondering, is this realistic? I found some pretty convincing reading to suggest that yes, it is! I found this interesting, wondered what you guys thought. For those of you who prefer to not watch the video, here's the text I found:

http://blog.soulwire.co.uk/notes/miscellany/the-guillotined-head-of-languille


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAPgPHLxYnc

Yes it is and multiple cases like this have been reported

jeffies04
09-21-2014, 06:04 PM
I'm not sure I buy the testimony of an 18th century "empath" to relay the feelings of a decapitated head, but believe it's possible for the victim to remain conscious for some period of time. In any case, whether conscious or not, I think the video is pretty realistic compared to eye-witness accounts from the time. I'll wait for the Mythbusters decapitation episode.


Haha of course not, but they were trying anything they could to answer their questions.