Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Man-eating mushrooms: A better funeral shroud

with one comment

Note the importance of the hyphen in the title. There’s too much hyphen-neglect in the world today.

Jef Akst reports an interesting idea for The Scientist. I’m sort of taken with it. He writes:

Artist Jae Rhim Lee thinks we’re going about death all wrong. We dress up our deceased loved ones in their favorite outfits (or ours), embalm them with chemicals like formaldehyde (which the US Department of Health and Human Services recently upgraded from a probable carcinogen to a known carcinogen), and put them in a box (with a grave liner) before putting them in the ground. All of these things aim “to preserve the body and protect it from the environment, with the idea that decomposition is something to be avoided,” Lee says. “And it’s a losing battle. Funeral directors will claim that the body will be preserved, and of course it’s not true.”

Lee says she suspects that modern, Western burial ritual is really just a way to distance ourselves from death—and thus our own mortality. She suggests that we should embrace decomposition and has launched the Infinity Burial Project as a way to encourage and accelerate the process. Lee, who did her graduate work in the visual arts program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she maintains an independent research fellowship, is developing a mushroom strain that is specifically trained to digest the tissues of the human body. She’s even designed a prototype of a burial suit that can be seeded with the mushroom’s spores. . .

Continue reading. Continue reading; non-gross photos at the link.

Written by LeisureGuy

9 September 2011 at 4:44 pm

Posted in Daily life, Environment

One Response

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  1. If someone eats the mushrooms is it considered cannibalism?

    J Dogg

    13 September 2011 at 12:46 pm

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