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A popular term for a corpse that rises in a body of water due to bacterial putrefaction and gas production, often accompanied by a nauseating stench. Putrefaction is more rapid in fresh, stagnant water, slower in salt water; it may not occur in very cold water. 

Note: As a general rule, if there is no air trapped in the clothing, dead bodies sink…a little something to tuck away…


A proteinaceous aggregate in the vitreous humour of the eye, which correspond to degenerative debris

Synonym Muscae volitante 


A popular term for a person who meditates for prolonged periods of time, floating in an isolation (samahdi) tank. 

Floaters use the tank to alter their experiences by reducing external sensation to a minimum.


A popular term for extraneous tissue fragment(s) inadvertently introduced onto a glass slide of material from person B, derived from paraffin-embedded material floating on a water bath from patient A.

Floaters are a not uncommon problem in surgical pathology, and can result in incorrect interpretation, with benign tissue being diagnosed as malignant and vice versa. Whilst some authors have used the word metastasis for this phenomenon, it implies origin from a malignant lesion, which is incorrect as not all cell and tissue floaters are malignant. Placental villi may occasionally “metastasise” into decidualised endometrial tissues from women with ectopic pregnancies. Floaters occur in 0.6% to 2.9% of slides; 6% to 12.7% of floaters are neoplastic; 0.1% to 0.4% cause diagnostic difficulty.

Solution Cut deeper levels of tissues, the artefact is usually only on one level; in a certain percentage of cases, immunostainng for ABH blood group antigens can be used to identify tissues that do not belong to the patient

Synonyms Carryover, contaminant, extraneous tissue, foreign tissue, tissue floater 

Reference APLM 1994; 118:293oa

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