The Body Disposal Business
Funereal solutions on an overcrowded planet - what to do when you run out of space to bury the dead?
Funereal solutions on an overcrowded planet - Ed Butler investigates what various countries do when they run out of space to bury their dead.
In Japan, where the construction of new crematoriums has often been blocked by unhappy neighbours, there is a literal multi-day backlog of bodies awaiting burial - and businesses ready to host them. In Greece, crematoriums are opposed by the Orthodox Church, so the solution has been the controversial practice of exhuming bodies just a few months after burial and transferring the decomposed remains to an ossuary.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, mortician Caitlin Doughty tells Ed about an innovative new method of body disposal - disintegrate them in a solution of highly caustic potassium hydroxide.
(Picture: Grave-digger; Credit: David Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)