How Long Will Alcohol Preserve A Body?

Years ago, I was given some discarded specimens from a local college museum. They were mostly specimens of various marine animals and shellfish. They were in fine shape-some had been collected 76 years before. I used them to decorate some windowsills-they gave the room a scientific tone.
Anyway, how long do such museum pieces last? Would a human body immersed in alcohol be good for several hundred years?

Yes, I saw a picture in the 1980s taken recently of John Paul Jones, and he was quite well preserved, still had hair even. He had been preserved in a lead lined coffin filled with alcohol.

Dean Martin lasted for years…

When I preserve specimens (usually fish or invertebrates, but I have worked with marine mammal specimens, not often preserved whole) I usually use a fixative first - some dilution of formaldehyde (usually 10% formalin.) This makes the proteins in the specimen very refractory and hard to break down. Only after the specimen has been placed in the fixative will I keep it in alcohol (usually 70% ethanol.)

Alcohol alone will preserve specimens for varying amounts of time depending on their size, surface area, how pure the alcohol is, but specimens preserved in just alcohol tend to be in bad shape after 30-70 years no matter what. Specimens fixed with formaldehyde and then preserved in alcohol last well through that time period and will probably last beyond that (not sure how long the fixing technique has been in use.)
But why should I say it less accurately when there’s a more thorough website from the LA County Natural History Museum about it?

My brain is obviously overloaded with pop culture. I’m here thinking is this some joke involving the bassist for Led Zeppelin? Only to look it up and realize he’s that captain from the Revolutionary War.

:dubious: :eek:

More of this, please.
And a link, if possible.

Even has a picture, which may be unpleasant to some folks, which is why I didn’t include the http part of the link.