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Here are some burial alternatives, from going to the moon to becoming a vinyl record

By NICK GARCIA Published Oct 27, 2022 5:42 pm

If there are Dumb Ways to Die in a mobile game, then there are Clever Ways of Burial in real life.

Moreover, one's fate after passing away isn't always six feet under or within 200 cubic inches.

PhilSTAR L!fe has compiled other ways of laying someone to rest, aside from placing their remains in a coffin or an urn.

Tree burial

A known practice in rural areas in Cavite, bodies are embedded vertically in a hollowed-out tree, which they had chosen while still alive.

If the person was of a higher social status, they're also placed in a sarcophagus in the tree trunk.

Wikimedia Commons
Tree planting

This has already become popular in countries like the United States and Japan. Bodies are first cremated, then the ashes are mixed with the soil where the tree's seed will be planted. Tree of life?

There have been innovations in recent history. Spanish design studio Estudimoline invented a biodegradable urn containing the seed, soil, as well as a section for one's ashes.

Italian company Capsula Mundi, meanwhile, made an organic egg-shaped pod that can hold one's ashes. Once buried, the shell breaks down, providing nutrients to the sapling above.

It also has a conceptual pod for bodies, in which they're meant to be stored in fetal position.

Firework display

"Baby you're a firework / Come on, let your colors burst."

Those who wish to go with a bang may opt for a fireworks display memorial.

United Kingdom-based Heavenly Stars Fireworks packs one's ashes into fireworks for a stunning display of lights and barrage of pops. The company said its fireworks can have special color schemes and may be choreographed to a particular music.

Prices range from £1,250 (P84,000) to £3,995 (P269,000).

Vinyl record

What better way to immortalize a music lover than press their ashes into a vinyl record?

UK company And Vinyly have such services and is available worldwide.

It said a 12-inch record may accommodate up to 18 to 22 minutes per side, whether it's the deceased loved one speaking from the grave, their favorite songs, or the mere sound of pops and crackles.

The vinyl, whose design and cover are also customizable, costs between £1,000 (P67,000) and £3,000 (P202,500).


This is the antithesis of cremation. Instead of fire, the body is exposed to alkaline hydrolosis, a mixture of water and potassium hydroxide, in a pressurized container while being heated for hours.

Aquamation liquifies everything but the bones, which are then dried to ashes and placed in an urn. In essence, the process accelerates the body's decomposition which normally takes months to years.

Green Cremation Texas

First developed in the '90s to dispose of animals used in experiments, the process is said to consume less energy—and emit less greenhouse gases.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu, a bishop and anti-apartheid activist, underwent aquamation last January.

Coral reef burial

While mankind's actions led to the destruction of coral reefs, they still have the chance to help save the ailing underwater ecosystem—upon their very own deaths.

Georgia-based Eternal Reefs is up to the task. It may take one's ashes and incorporate them into a "proprietary, environmentally safe" cement mixture. This becomes part of artificial reef formations, which are then placed in a permitted ocean location chosen by the individual or loved one.

Participants may choose to mix the remains into the concrete themselves. They may also personalize the top with hand prints and written message while still damp.

Depending on size, Eternal Reefs' services cost $4,500 (P261,000), $5,500 (P320,000), and $8,500 (494,000).

Hanging coffins

This still technically involves coffins, but instead of underneath the ground, they're suspended from cliff sides.

The belief is that the higher the bodies were placed, the closer they will be to their ancestors.

Matyas Rehak/Shutterstock

In Sagada in Mountain Province, where the practice is popular and has even become a tourist spot, the coffins are made out of hollowed logs by the eventual occupants. The dead are placed in fetal position, with the belief that they should go the same way they were born.

China and Indonesia also have their version of hanging coffins.

Sky burial

There's a higher way to pass on than being suspended from cliff sides. Sky burial, that is.

The body is placed on a mountaintop, exposed to the elements to naturally decompose if not eaten by scavengers like vultures.

Some beliefs say it's a means of bringing the dead closer to the sky or sacred realms. Others say it's done out of practical considerations.

Dustin Kerschtien/Shutterstock

In Tibet, for instance, the ground is too rocky for digging graves. Fuel and timber are also scarce for cremation.

Vultures feast on entire bodies, while the remaining bones are grinded and mixed with flour, tea, milk, and barley for the crows and hawks to enjoy.

Other areas observing sky burial include Mongolia, Bhutan, India, as well as China and its autonomous regions Qinghai, Sichuan, and Inner Mongolia.

Space burial

Internalizing the Little Prince's "In one of the stars I shall be living" pronouncement? Want Nik Makino's "Saan ka punta? To the moon" line become realized? A space burial may just be it.

In this method, one's remains are placed in sealed containers and are launched into space. Generally, they won't be scattered there to avoid adding to space debris.

It's either they'll reach extraterrestrial destinations or vaporize like shooting star upon re-entry into the atmosphere.


The Texas-based Celestis offers different space burial services, ranging from $2,495 (P144,000) to $12,500 (P726,000).

When Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry died in 1991, his remains were launched into space the following year.