Alternative burial ideas… Freeze your head anyone?

Last week we took a look at some planet friendly ideas for your ‘final journey’. THIS week we leave our eco-morals, and some might say our taste at the door for a look at some alternative burial ideas.

So, if you say get behind me tradition, non-conformity RULES. We’ll meet you at the top of a Tibetan mountain in a few years then….

Our top SIX alternative burial ideas

1 – Mummification

Mummification has been around since 2,600 BC with, as I’m sure you know, it’s origins in Ancient Egypt. Largely dying out around 30 BC around the time when the Romans took over. That was until Summum the world’s only modern mummification company popped up. Summum offers mummification services on a global scale. All you need to do is to ask your Funeral Directors to contact them and your journey to modern day Mummy will begin! There is no fee for their services just a suggested donation of *cough* £45,000… we might pass.

2 – Plastination

Originally developed in 1977 by world renowned scientist Dr Gunther von Hagens as a technique for the preservation of soft tissue for his scientific research. It worked so well that plastination has been the focus of Dr von Hagens life for the last 20 years! In that time he has produced some simply mind blowing exhibitions, in fact 20 million+ people the world over have seen his creations. I’d take a bet that you’ve probably seen the man on a horse. Dr von Hagen has people queuing round the block waiting for the privileged of being flayed, dissected and preserved by him and his team (each body takes 1,500 hours to complete) so, you’ll need to get your name down soon if you want to become part of a future exhibition.

3 – Cryogenics

Often horrendously badly depicted in movies, think Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky… although not new, Robert Ettinger has been doing it in his Cryogenics Institutesince 1976, cryogenics does hold a fascination for us mere mortals. The promise of a second whack at life is, of course, pretty seductive. As you would imagine there’s more to it than being popped into an industrial size freezer until, such a time as ‘we’re’ (not me I’ll be dead) able to 3D print you a new body. Or something. It’s a delicate process designed to preserve the brain tissue at a cellular level, more about the actual process here. With Paris Hilton and Britney Spears reportedly already booked in to have their heads frozen, the future of the planet is in safe hands… maybe.

4 – Sky Burial

The word ‘Burial’ here is slightly (very) misleading… Not available in the UK, for reasons that will soon become apparent, Sky Burials have been carried out around the world for centuries but now only really practised in Tibet. In a nut shell, once a person dies their body is taken to a mountain top and (respectfully) cut into small pieces, often by monks, then fed to awaiting Vultures.

There are a number of reasons Sky Burials continue to be practised in Tibet. Firstly the majority of Tibetans are Buddhist so therefore believe in reincarnation. The ground is frozen solid so digging graves is impossible and, there are very few trees to provide firewood for a funeral pyre. So, whilst it does look pretty gruesome a sky burial is considered to be the most generous and practical means of disposing of a corpse.

5 – Burial at Sea

Whilst a burial at sea is not just reserved for those who have served in the Navy it’s not proven too popular in the UK with just a couple of dozen taking place a year. However with many of us looking for greener alternative burial ideas, its popularity is set to rise. As you would imagine there are strict guidelines surrounding exactly where you can be ‘buried’ and you’ll need a license. There are, however a few companies in the UK offering this service. Including the aptly named Burial at Sea.

6 – Home Burial

Not nearly as illegal as you would think…. The landed gentry have been interring their relatives in their grounds for hundreds of years. So, if it’s good enough for the Dowager of Downtown Abbey then it’s good enough for you in your suburban semi. Perhaps. In all seriousness as long as the proper guidelines are followed to avoid potential public health risks, there is no law what-so-ever against being buried in your own garden, or on any private land you own. Although if you move, don’t forget to take the relatives with you.


Here at Future Legal Services we always advise our clients to not only think about their funeral preferences (it doesn’t have to be one of our alternative burial ideas!) but to also make sure their wishes are documented in their wills. In fact with the average cost of a cremation now at £3,500 (for a burial add on the cost of the land too!) and rising year on year it’s definitely worth taking out a pre paid funeral plan. Call us on 01322 664885 to discuss your will and funeral plans with us today – Tibetan Sky Burials not available. Sorry.

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