Coffins, tombstones, and orthodox funeral proceedings are the norm, but a company called Capsula Mundi is completely changing the way we look at burials.
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 your funeral, but better (morbid thoughts, I know).
“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 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 burial pod would then be planted in the soil like a seed
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, which will provide the earth with nutrients for vegetative organisms.
Essentially, these pods will transform cemeteries into forests where there would be entire memorial parks 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 catching on.
Here’s the process
The capsule is made from a starch plastic which is 100% biodegradable
Once the pods and trees are planted, it creates a “memory forest.”
Your loved ones would then be able to take care of your tree
Manufacturing of the prototype of the Capsula for the body
Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel with the artistic mockup of the Capsula for the body
They are currently producing the Capsula Mundi urns for the ashes, while they need more time to verify and test the Capsula for the body. The urns are currently on sale on our website below.
Capsula Mundi Urn
How the Urn works
The urns are currently on sale on their website, and 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! You can check out even more cool burial methods!