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  • Hey there!

  • Welcome to Life Noggin.

  • Almost three million people die in America every year.

  • Many are buried, many are cremated, but neither of those options are perfect.

  • Which begs the question, what should we do with dead bodies?

  • Let's start with the problems of current methods of burial and cremation.

  • For starters, we're running low on burial land.

  • It's so bad that countries are even re-using graves.

  • Traditional burial and cremation methods aren't doing the environment any favors either.

  • Before a body is buried, it's pumped full of toxic chemicals and carcinogens that end

  • up in the air, the ground and even our drinking water.

  • On top of that, caskets are made of mined metals and even plastics that end up decomposing

  • in the ground.

  • While cremation is a bit greener, it's still releasing chemicals like carbon dioxide, carbon

  • monoxide, mercury and carcinogens into the air.

  • Thankfully, there are a bunch of companies racing towards solutions for these problems.

  • But before I get into this, prepare yourselves people.

  • Some of these are real weird.

  • One group, called Coeio, wants people to be wrapped up in a suit made of mushrooms and

  • be buried straight into the ground.

  • This method avoids harsh chemicals and preservatives, and instead uses mushrooms and other microorganisms

  • to help in decomposition.

  • This allows the body to decay naturally and distribute nutrients to the soil.

  • But if you don't want to be turned into some kind of human stroganoff, there are other

  • options.

  • Like being turned into a tree!

  • A company called Capsula Mundi is creating a large egg-shaped capsule that will hold

  • a whole body underground.

  • Once the capsule is buried, a tree seedling will then be planted on top.

  • Then, the body starts to decay naturally, with the help of the carbon inside the capsule.

  • This carbon helps microbes in the decomposition process.[17] The idea is that the body's

  • nutrients will feed the tree and loved ones can go back to visit a living representation

  • of the deceased.

  • It's kinda like reincarnation.

  • I just hope nobody chops you down and turns you into junk mail.

  • If these options weren't weird enough, there are some companies that want to straight up

  • dissolve your body.

  • Alkaline hydrolysis, also known as liquid cremation, uses an alkaline liquid bath that

  • doesn't emit the same toxins regular cremation does and it requires about one eighth the

  • amount of energy too.

  • The body is placed in a massive tub of 300 degree alkaline liquid and after an hour or

  • two, most of the body is dissolved.

  • That liquid is then poured down the drain.

  • Just like that.

  • Done.

  • But could any of these options be the answer to our problem of dealing with the dead?

  • Alkaline hydrolysis is illegal in most of the united states due to its controversial

  • nature.

  • Plus, this method is believed to still emit about 100 pounds of carbon dioxide per person.

  • Not great.

  • Being buried in a pod and giving life to a new tree sounds cool and it could be sustainable

  • but planting a more mature tree that's prepared to absorb all the nutrients could be more

  • efficient.

  • This brings us to our third option, the mushroom suit.

  • As ridiculous as this option may be, it could be the most sound.

  • A green body preparation, no casing, no burning or liquefying, just a body wrapped in fungus

  • feeding the nearby trees.

  • Ah, so peaceful.

  • There has been a huge cultural shift towards cremation in the last few decades, which is

  • definitely a step in the right direction, but I wonder if the masses will ever get on

  • board with any of these ideas.

  • Would you do sign up for any of these or are you more traditional?

  • Let me know in the comments!

Hey there!

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What Should We Do With Dead Bodies?

  • 67 9
    Samuel posted on 2018/02/19
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