When a funeral pops into a conversation, everyone’s first thoughts are sadness, of course, along with coffins, tombstones, large graveyards, etc. For the most part, these are completely normal things associated with death and funeral proceedings. However, a company called Capsula Mundi is experimenting with a unique burial method that effectively turns the deceased into a tree.
How does it work?
The idea behind it is quite a simple one and the process is essentially just a tree’s life cycle. The deceased will be placed into one of Capsula Mundi’s specially made egg-shaped pods which will act as a seed. The pod will then be buried in the ground with a tree on top of it. Thanks to being made from a starch plastic, the capsule is 100% biodegradable and will just breakdown by itself in the ground. The body inside will also start to decay and transform into nutrients, which will, in turn, be absorbed by the tree roots just above.
This idea would allow loved ones to live on forevermore as part of a tree. It would also make burial sites, such as cemeteries, a much happier and vibrant place. Rather than having lines of gravestones, it would be a luscious memorial forest where friends and families can visit, tend to their trees, and spend time with the ones they’ve lost.
The pod, which is replacing the traditional coffin, is actually completely organic and biodegradable, which allows the tree to grow. To enable this, the human body transforms into nutrients once it’s in the burial pod. It sounds quite peculiar at first but it’s an entirely natural process. The bodies will need to be put in the pods either before or after rigor mortis as it reduces flexibility too much.
After being encapsulated in the burial pod in the fetal position, either a tree seed or an actual tree seedling would be planted above the pod. The type of tree would depend on what the deceased person had selected beforehand. Similar to selecting a coffin, there is a wide range of choices, but this is a lot more organic.
While this idea is steaming along very quickly, there are still a few kinks that need to be ironed out before it can be released fully. Until then though, Capsula Mundi offers a biodegradable urn which works is pretty much the same way, but with ashes for those who were cremated.
Just like the pod, the urn is buried underground with the deceased inside, a tree is then placed on top of it and over time, the capsule will decay, allowing the tree to absorb all the nutrients which once was a human being, enabling them to live on elsewhere.
I for one wouldn’t mind living on as a tree, while simultaneously helping to save the planet. Would you?