What Happens When We Die?

10 real-life stories from people who have died and come back to life.

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Heaven, the undiscovered country, the afterlife - whatever you want to call it, death and what lies beyond has been a preoccupation of mankind for millennia.

Once breathing and heartbeat ceases in a patient, they are considered to be clinically dead. However, thanks to the wonders of medical science - and sometimes sheer dumb luck - death is sometimes a reversible condition. The people that come back from the dead often return with fascinating and sometimes chilling stories of their encounter with the great beyond.

There are many common elements that often feature in Near Death Experiences (or NDEs), including white lights, floating, tunnels, out-of-body experiences, feelings of peace, love and safety, feelings of fear or loneliness, encounters with deceased relatives and religious experiences to name but a few.

Scientists are unsure as to why these experiences occur, but it is likely that they are the body's response to extreme trauma in one way or another. Many accounts bear similarities with the hallucinogenic effects of the drug DMT, and it was thought for a while that this could be the cause of the phenomenon, but there is little evidence to suggest that this can be produced by the human body.

Could these be proof of life after death, or even the reason why we came up with the idea of the afterlife in the first place?

In a Reddit thread started by user hoogly_boogly, Redditors have been sharing their experiences of what happened to them after they died, and they make fascinating reading.

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