How long does a human head continue to be lucid after decapitation? Since the very beginnings of the practice, the question has been asked.
Although generally lucidity lasts about 30 seconds, many are of the opinion that a person will lose consciousness immediately after being beheaded due to a massive drop in blood pressure in the brain.
But there are countless eyewitness reports in history describing a few seconds of apparent awareness in the victim.
For example, Languille, a convicted murderer who was guillotined in France, was observed by Dr. Beaurieux during his execution at 5:30 am on June 28th, 1905.
Beaurieux made the following observation: "The face relaxed, the lids half closed on the eyeballs, leaving only the white of the conjunctiva visible... It was then that I called in a strong, sharp voice: 'Languille!' I saw the eyelids slowly lift up, without any spasmodic contractions ... Next Languille's eyes very definitely fixed themselves on mine and the pupils focused themselves…"
A more recent account tells of an accidental decapitation in an automobile in 1989: "The facial expressions he (the victim) displayed were first of shock or confusion, followed by terror or grief. I cannot exaggerate and say that he was looking all around, but he did display ocular movement in that his eyes moved from me, to his body, and back to me."