Goodbye Coffins: These Organic Burial Pods Will Turn You Into A Tree When You Die
Published in Jan 2020 / Updated in Aug 2021
Coffins, tombstones, and ordinary funeral proceedings are so last year. A new project has been developed that has a unique approach to the concept of death.
The concept of having a body turned into a tree after dying was developed by Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel. They dubbed the idea Capsula Mundi.
The designers wanted to emphasize “nature’s cycle of transformation” and created an organic, biodegradable pod that can actually transform the body of a deceased into a tree.
Yes, you can now become a tree when you die!
The idea is that, instead of creating burial grounds filled with tombstones, the deceased body will provide nutrients for a tree of their choosing, that’ll then be placed on top of the area they’ll be buried.
It basically works like this: The deceased’s body is placed in one of these biodegradable capsules in a fetal stage.
With the deceased in it, the capsule is then buried, and either a tree or the seed of a tree is then planted above the capsule.
The person to be buried would choose what kind of tree they’d want to become when they are alive.
The capsule is then planted in the soil, just the same way you’d plant a seed.
Capsula Mundi website states:
“The body will be laid down in the Capsula in a fetal position before rigor mortis set in or after it passes.”
“Rigor mortis arises at different times for each individual and has a duration of a few hours. After rigor mortis passes, the body will again become soft and malleable. Once the body is laid within the Capsula, it will be planted in the earth like a seed.”
The capsule is made with starch plastic, a type of plastic derived from starch, making it completely biodegradable. Here’s an infographic of the process.
Essentially, these pods will transform regular cemeteries into forests where there’d be an entire memorial park of trees rather than tombstones.
You’d then be able to visit and care for the trees of your loved ones. In fact, there are places in the US and in England where this green burial concept is catching on.
Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel are currently producing the Capsula Mundi urns for the deceased ashes. They need more time to verify and test the Capsula for the body.
The urns are on sale on their website. You can also check out more information from this project on their Facebook page.
Hopefully, in a few years, graveyards will start to look more like forests!