Death is a normal part of the cycle of life. If one lives long enough, he is likely to see a good share of corpses. As the global Idiocracy descends upon human populations, it is particularly important for Dangerous Children to understand the best means for disposal of corpses.
Listed below are a number of overt and covert methods for disposal of a corpse:
Means of disposal
- Burial of the entire body in the earth, often within a coffin or casket (also referred to as inhumation)
- Permanent storage in an above-ground tomb or mausoleum (also referred to as immurement)
- Cremation, which burns soft tissue and renders much of the skeleton to ash. The remains, known as “cremains” may contain larger pieces of bone which are ground in a machine to the consistency of ash. The ashes may be stored in an urn or scattered on land or water.
- Disposal by exposure
- Traditional examples include Tibet sky burial and the Parsi Towers of Silence
- A body farm involves a similar method of disposal as an object of scientific study.
- In some traditions, for example that practiced by the Spanish royal family, the soft tissues are permitted to rot over a period of decades, after which the bones are entombed.
- Burial at sea
- Dissolution, e.g. in acid or a solution of lye, followed by disposal as liquid
- Recently there has been much controversy over alkaline hydrolysis (also called Resomation) as a method of body disposal. Advocates claim the process is more environmentally friendly than both cremation and burial, due to CO2 emissions and embalming fluids respectively. On the other hand, many find the idea of being “poured down the drain” to be undignified.
- Donation for study – donation to a medical school or similar – after embalming and several years of study and dissection the body is usually eventually cremated.
- Cannibalism, ritual or otherwise
- Space burial
- In cases of war, genocide, or natural disasters including disease epidemics, large groups of people have been buried in mass graves or plague pits.
- Dismemberment, in which the body is divided and different body parts are dealt with separately; for example in the case of the Habsburg royal family as well as the display of the relics of various saints.
Means of clandestine disposal
- Burial, especially in a shallow grave due to time constraints
- Cremation, which may be incomplete if performed without proper equipment
- Dumping the body in a deserted or private place, such as a freezer or body of water
- Dissolution (see above)
- Burial in cement or concrete
- Crushing, e.g. within a junked car
Dismemberment is common as a means to facilitate disposal; it also enables disposal of each piece separately.
Feeding corpses to hogs: Al Fin first heard of this method when reading “Unintended Consequences” by John Ross. The method has apparently been used by Italian mafia, and has also been borrowed by multiple television and film writers. But beware: hogs do not tend to eat large bones.
Similar: Feeding the alligators (h/t Swamp Woman), feeding the sharks, feeding the wolves etc.
Cremation can be traditional or impromptu. A traditional cremation takes place at temperatures above 1400 F or 760 C, and may last between 1 hour and 4 hours. If a body is pre-dessicated, the process may be expedited somewhat. In a more impromptu setting, bodies can be cremated inside of buildings or automobiles that have been doused with fuel. An outdoor funeral pyre may be part of a formal ceremony, or undertaken on the spur of the moment.
Safety and sanitation should be first and foremost in body disposal, along with the housekeeping function. But if it is possible to incorporate important life lessons as part of the disposal process, these moments can imbue great staying power to such lessons.
Why are we talking about the disposal of dead bodies? If you lived in parts of Africa, the middle east, Detroit, or within Russian spheres of influence, you would not be asking that question. As the global Idiocracy expands to take in larger parts of the inhabited world, reliable corpse disposal services will be in greater demand.
Here at the Al Fin Institute for Advanced Studies, we are less concerned with techniques for the disposal of dead bodies — and more concerned with techniques for the disposal of dead governments, government agencies, and corrupt/criminal cultures that obstruct an abundant and expansive human future.
Yes, bad governments, oppressive agencies, and destructive cultures can be killed, in a number of ways. But it is no use to kill such destructive entities if you have no way to decontaminate and dispose of the remains [eg the collapse of the USSR]. That will be the topic of a number of future entries.
More on corpse disposal:
Human meat is often called “long pig,” presumably for its flavour resemblance to pork. In the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes,” human meat was slowly stewed into barbecue sauce, and considered a delicacy by those not in the know.
Any foods rich in pork — such as Chinese or Mexican — could easily serve as covert means for the disposal of inconvenient corpses. The meat could be combined with real pork, or heavily processed and seasoned to serve as a substitute. Internal organs could be fed to the real hogs. Other instances of cannibalism in popular culture
Bone disposal remains a problem, although if bones were crushed and dried, they might be combined with construction mix for roads or building foundations.