Burial is one thing we have to deal with when we face the death of a loved one, or even of ourselves. Burial, or interment, is something that has to be decided upon and not too many people realize there are so many ways in which this could be done. There’s nothing wrong with a few healthy morbid curiosities and so learning about the different types of burial was a bit interesting. Here are the few that I found the most intriguing.
Also known as a green burial. This basically means you’re being buried without the use of a coffin or a casket. This will allow your body to naturally break down in the soil, becoming part of the earth.
The type of burial most of us are familiar with. This is when the body of the deceased is embalmed and put inside a coffin or casket before being interred in the ground. The embalming slows the decomp process considerably and is mostly done so the body can be presented to loved ones until a funeral takes place.
This is usually done for unidentified people. When someone is found dead and no one has come forward to claim the deceased person, they are usually buried in unmarked graves, or buried with a simply cross on top of the grave. A cross isn’t always used. Sometimes other objects are put in place where the cross would be. Potter’s Field is a notable place that houses graves for unidentified people.
This is when a person is buried upside down. At some point in history, a person would be buried in this way as a punishment if they committed suicide or if they were murdered people.
A secret burial is usually done for notable people so their graves will not be disturbed or dessicated in some way or another. Famous people such as Michael Jackson has a highly secretive grave location that’s not open to the general public. Another person who isn’t as notable by the name of Elena Hoyos also has a secret grave so that no one can disturb her final resting place.
Her story was unique in the sense that her body was stolen by a man named Count Von Cosel who lived with her corpse for many years before she was temporarily put on display before being reburied. Very disturbing and interesting to say the least.
This is where a couple or a group of people is buried together in the same grave. This differs from a mass grave because a mass grave consists of people who are unknown to each other in the same grave, while a multiple burial is usually for loved ones who want to stay close even in death.
This is for many people, unknown to each other, who are buried in the same location. Catacombs is sort of an example for this, although it differs slightly as catacombs are passageways that houses the dead in a more spiritual way. Mozart was once known to be buried in a mass grave, however, this was proven to be false.
These two aren’t exactly a type of burial, but these are alternatives to burial. Cremation is basically the burning of a body in a crematorium in conditions ranging up to 2000 degrees for a few hours until there is nothing left. What is left is ground up to resemble ashes.
Resomation is a healthier alternative to cremation in the sense that it is more environmentally friendly. This consists of dissolving a body in a process known as alkaline hydrolysis. A body is placed in a silk bag and then inside of a metal cage and put inside of a contraption known as a Resomator. Water and lye surround the body and heated up to 350 degrees, and is pressurized so that it doesn’t boil. This breaks the body down, which takes up to a few hours, the same as cremation. What is broken down gets flushed into the sewer system. What is left is ground up, just like cremation, and also resembles ashes.
The ashes left over with resomation comes out looking far better than the ashes from cremation.
This is where the body is taken care of by freeze drying using liquid nitrogen. Afterwards, high amounts of vibration causes the body to shatter. What’s left is then vacuumed and placed in a biodegradable casket before being buried. This allows bacteria to speed up decomposition, turning the body into humus, in as little as a year. This isn’t that popular in the U.S., however.
This is when someone is buried alive. This used to be a form of execution, and still is in certain parts of the world, though it isn’t done as often as it used to be. This was also done by accident such as an avalanche or if someone gets buried in a cave and can’t get out. There were times where a medical examiner pronounced someone as dead when they weren’t and ended up being buried. This was many years ago, however, and a bell was usually placed for the person to ring in the event that they woke up from their “death”. I’m not so sure how effective that was.
This is when someone is buried somewhere in the mountains.
Burial at Sea:
Normally done on someone who has spent their life at sea, such as a captain, this is where the body is lowered into the ocean or another body of water such as a lake. You can also scatter ashes in this manner as well.