Most of us don’t give a lot of thought to what will happen to our bodies when we die. It’s morbid, for one thing. It can be depressing and scary to confront our own mortality, and unsettling to consider that after we die we’re essentially meat. Most people’s choices boil down to burial or cremation. These days though, there are more options than ever for those who want to be more interesting in death than they ever were in life.
There are two main ways one’s body can be interred in water. One is by placing the body in a casket or special wrappings designed for body disposal—then lowering that into an ocean, river (the Ganges is a popular one), or deep lake. Burial by boat is similar, but a small vessel serves as the place of entombment. This refers to deliberate burial at sea, which should not be confused with a Titanic situation where bodies went down with the ship as a matter of circumstances. Some religions are cool with burial at sea—but not Catholics, Jews, Muslims, or Hindus. See your local religious official for details.
Yes, really. If you haven’t already heard of the Urban Death Project, it’s time you did. The focus of UDP is to turn human bodies into nutrient rich compost. Not only does this provide a renewable body disposal service—it reminds us of the fact that we return to the dust when our time on earth is over. There is still a sending-off ceremony, and most religious customs can be melded with the process. So when you die, you can become nourishing veggies that feed fellow humans, or flowers that make the earth beautiful.
Not only are they the proverbial girl’s best friend, Algordonza diamonds are the outcome of a high-tech solution to the burial crisis. Common sense tells us we can’t go on burying bodies in the ground forever. That’s one of the reasons Rinaldo Willy has developed the technology needed to process human remains into diamonds. The process takes several years and costs between five and 25 thousand dollars. Becoming a memorial diamond when you die allows relatives to keep you around forever, so every new generation can see how Grandma sparkles in the sunlight.
There are two basic ways to have a space burial, both of which involve cremation. Ashes are placed into a small space vessel and are either sent into orbit around the Earth or a nearby body such as the moon, or the ashes are sent into deep space. Orbiting vessels eventually either reach their destination (Mars, for example), or head back to Earth where they burn up in the atmosphere. Deep space burial presumably means you or your loved one becomes part of the universe. Burial in space is not as expensive or outlandish as you might think.
Want to become a noble tree when you die? Who wouldn’t? Better than heaven, hell, reincarnation, or simply winking out—your body could be loaded into a Bios Urn. It’s a biodegradable pod that promises to “turn death into a transformation and return to life through nature.” Even if the Earth doesn’t stay habitable for humans forever, trees will have an easier time of it. After death, tree-you can soak up the sun, enjoy the refreshing rain, and make oxygen that other life forms can enjoy.
The 21 Grams Memory Box is the artistic invention of Mark Sturkenboom, who got the idea from an elderly widow he knew. The Memory Box is designed for partners who wish to capture intimate memories of their partner. It contains an atomizer that can hold your dearly departed’s fave fragrance and an iPod dock for evocative music. Oddest of all, a dildo containing 21 grams of the deceased’s ashes. Yes, you read that right. When you die, you can continue to pleasure your partner.