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The Body Farm

The facility is located adjacent to the parking lot of the UT Medical Center and is surrounded by gates reminiscent of Jurassic Park. The property, described by Dr. Bass in his new book, Death’s Acre, has multiple fences and gates to keep out trespassers who have a fetish for the macabre. I was surprised that the smell alone did not act as a deterrent to the majority of the curiosity seekers. Once past the smell, the insects and wild animals should weed out the remaining inquisitive few. For those who are not dissuaded by the swarms of flies and mosquitoes, they are rewarded by one of the most fascinating visual and learning experiences that few are ever privy to the sight of a dozen or so bodies in various stages of decomposition under the hot Tennessee sun is indelibly printed in my mind. It is not a fascination in a “freak show” kind of way, but that of a pronounced self-awareness. For me, all myths and conjecture of what occurs after death were stripped away and I was left with a piercing sense of my own mortality.

—Nina K. Carroll, M.S., (Discreet cleaning services. “Call 911. Then Call Us.”)

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