Bye-Bye Coffins! These Organic Burial Pods Will Turn You Into A Tree When You Die

Coffins, tombstones, and orthodox funeral proceedings are so last year because this unconventional burial just might be the future.

When we originally wrote about this project (about a year ago), Capsula Mundi, a unique burial method, was in the early stages of development. Capsula Mundi is essentially a cultural project founded by Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel  in Italy who approach death and design in very different ways.

The designers wanted to emphasize “Nature’s cycle of transformation” and created an organic, biodegradable pod that actually transforms the body of the deceased into a tree. (Yes, you can now become a tree when you die!)

Once in the burial pod, the human body transforms into nutrients for the tree to help it grow.

It basically works like this: first, the body is encapsulated in a fetal position and then buried in one of the pods, where either a tree seed or an actual tree is planted above the pod. You would then pick the type of tree you want to become, similar to picking out your own coffin for you funeral, but better (morbid thoughts, I know).

Check out the illustrations below to grasp a better understanding:

Diagram of the concept

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The capsule is made from a starch plastic which is 100% biodegradable

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“The body will be laid down in the Capsula in a fetal position before rigor mortis set in or after it passes,” said Capsula Mundi.

“Rigor mortis arises at different times for each individual and It 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 would then be planted in soil like a seed

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The burial pods are made from a starch plastic which does not prevent the natural decomposition of the capsule and allows the organic matter to transform into minerals, that will provide the earth with nutrients for vegetative organisms. Essentially, these pods will transform cemeteries in forests…….

Here’s the process

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Once the pods and trees are planted, it’s creates a “memory forest.”

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Your loved ones would then be able to take care of your tree

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This is actually still a concept since Italian law prohibits this sort of burial – but if it does proceed, there would be an entire memorial park of trees rather than tombstones.

You would then be able to visit and care for the tree of your loved one.

There are actually places in the US and in England where this type of green burial is legal… Their goal is to engineer the industrial prototype and to produce the moulds by 2017

Manufacturing of the prototype of the Capsula for the body

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Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel with the artistic moke up of the Capsula for the body


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The Capsula Mundi is currently being funded on KickStarter, and you can check that out here. You can also check out more from this project over at their Facebook page.

Hopefully, within the next few years, graveyards will start to look like forests! Don’t forget to give this a share on Facebook before you go.

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