Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Mummification / Embalmed Display - After Death Alternative

Skeleton cleaned, carved, plated with gold or silver and decorated with precious gemstones.
  [vote for,

Slightly less gross than embalming and putting on display like they did with Lennon.

Saw this company that sells carved cow skulls that does absolutely beautiful work and wondered if there was an application for humans doing this if they were so inclined. (link) This would be for people who wanted folks to visit their tomb and revere their remains, for some reason, without being totally grossed out. There are many examples of carved human skulls but not a complete carved and decorated human skeleton that I know of, and especially none that are gold or platinum plated and adorned with fine jewels.

The ancient Egyptians mummified their dead turning them into human beef jerky basically, Lennon was pumped full of chemicals and painted so people could thank him for his great work after he died and some folks get the big stupid tomb so they can show off while they de-compose. None of these allow people to walk up and say "Hey, that's one sharp looking set of remains!".

Also occurred to me some of the clever folks here or elsewhere who were versed in chemistry could probably figure out a way to dissolve the body and use the resulting elements to make gemstones, paint, anodizing metals etc. There's tin, copper and zinc so you could do something with those.

Although the process getting to the finished product might not be pretty, you could theoretically have the actual entire person there, although arranged differently right down to the chemical level, in an attractive instead of disgusting form. A bit macabre yes, but keep in mind, it's certainly a step up from a mummy or that gross Lennon corpse.

I would think a majestic temple with one of these sitting on a throne, where you could actually walk up to the remains of that person without being totally disgusted would be an interesting alternative for people who wanted to show off after death.

doctorremulac3, Feb 03 2019

Beautiful cow skull carvings. https://skullbliss....ns-tribal-1-carving
[doctorremulac3, Feb 03 2019]

This is a bit more macabre than I was thinking. https://www.pintere...489836896961851329/
[doctorremulac3, Feb 03 2019]

Closer but not quite. https://scontent-la...4219563&oe=5D0078B6
[doctorremulac3, Feb 03 2019]

This is the closest thing I could find. https://goo.gl/images/ydEpUm
It would have to be cool looking, not disgusting. [doctorremulac3, Feb 03 2019]

https://twitter.com...42993354493952?s=21 [Ian Tindale, Feb 04 2019]

Lennon's tomb https://www.findagr...0337594/john-lennon
Seems a shame to have it obscured by all that topsoil. [MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 04 2019]

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       Your idea has a startling difference compared with the 20th century as I remember it. John Lennon was greatly appreciated but I do not think anything was done with his corpse. Lenin, a Russian, who struggled mightily for something that did not work, was embalmed and placed on display.   

       One wonders what countless mourners would have experienced had John Lennon's body been on display.   

       And going a little further, think how wonderful it would have been if Lennon's mourners had instead been merely critical of the music he produced during his 50's and the covers he recorded in his 60s. Going a little further, why not have him outlive Jean Calment's claimed lifespan of 122 years!   

       I favor genetically engineering people to be death optional with eternal youth so I have nothing to say about what to do with corpses.
beanangel, Feb 04 2019

       Yea, I'm not saying it's something that I'd ever suggest be actually done to anybody, just an idea. Like I said, slightly less gross than embalming.   

       Celebrating a person's physical remains in any way is weird to me. When my grandmother passed, we had her cremated and my cousin flew the plane as I scattered her ashes over the ocean. That's an appropriate way to go for a civilized person. That or donate the body to science if that's what the person wanted.   

       If you cure death you're gonna have to up your planetary colonization game to get some place to put all these live bodies.   

       If we go that round I'm guessing digital versions that don't take up much space would be the path forward, something we've talked about before on this site.
doctorremulac3, Feb 04 2019

       //Saw this company that sells carved cow sculls...// - a nice idea, and I'm sure the quality of the carving was excellent, but cows are just too big and heavy for rowing, and their hooves don't have the necessary opposable grip to hold on to the oars.
hippo, Feb 04 2019

       Shit. Sigh.   


       Note I spelled it right everyplace else for partial credit.
doctorremulac3, Feb 04 2019

       I think the embalming of Lennon was probably a symptom of the McCartney era.   

       //If you cure death you're gonna have to up your planetary colonization game to get some place to put all these live bodies.//   

       Oddly enough, if you double life expectancy, it has a much smaller impact on population size than, say, sanitation or agriculture. If you increase lifespan 10-fold, then you have issues, but those issues arise over the course of the next 1000 years.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 04 2019


       I favour display standing in a block of lucite - it'd save on cemetery space and digging. Alternatively, given that plenty of old spooky stories have a "Skull Island" ...
FlyingToaster, Feb 04 2019

       ^ "Plastination" ...   

       // cows are just too big and heavy for rowing, and their hooves don't have the necessary opposable grip to hold on to the oar //   

       Yes, but they're very useful if you're sailing round the Horn ...
8th of 7, Feb 04 2019

       The 'block of lucite' embalming method would be really interesting. If you just took a dead body and encased it in some clear plastic resin, I assume there would still be enough air inside the body and enough bacteria and microbes to cause decay (not my area of expertise though (not that that has ever stopped me (or anyone else here) pontificating at length) so it's possible I'm wrong). The dead body would slowly decay and should eventually become a skeleton standing up in a clear, body-shaped plastic mould which is half-full of a sort of microbe soup. At least it wouldn't smell though.
hippo, Feb 04 2019

       ... unless the pressure of the decomp gases ruptures the block.   

       Then it will be Very Bad.
8th of 7, Feb 04 2019

       This is getting pretty gruesome, but maybe you'd have to make the whole person biologically inert down to the microorganism level. Maybe nuke it, fill the cavities with plastic as well?   

       I assume there's a size limit on things you put in plastic since I've only seen small stuff.   

       There's a less gross version of this where you just make an accurate 3D printed model of the person's skeleton from 3D CT scans. Then it would be fairly easy to add artwork such as carving etc. Since skeletons tend to all look alike though, not sure what the point would be. That being said, not exactly sure what the point of this entire idea is either.   

       Hey, let me try another stupid idea.
doctorremulac3, Feb 04 2019

       //I assume there would still be enough air inside the body and enough bacteria and microbes to cause decay// There would. And there are plenty of anaerobic bacteria ready to take over when the oxygen runs out.   

       You could, as [doc] suggests, sterilise the whole thing with a good dose of radiation. I'm not sure of the capacity of food irradiators, but that'd be the way to go. Then, all you've got to worry about is chemical breakdown - not sure how bad that would be.   

       You'd also want to be very sure that the bladder, stomach and bowels were empty at the time of embedding. Otherwise, if you peed yourself post-mortem while the resin was still liquid, you'd have this sort of eternal yellow cloud around your crotch, which would be embarrassing. Bubbles coming from your arse would be equally awkward.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 04 2019

       Lol, ok now, THAT’S funny no? That’s a Monty python sketch right there. “How did his magesty’s immortalization turn out?”   

       “Well, most of it looks real good...”
doctorremulac3, Feb 04 2019

       Incidentally, regarding the upper size limit for resin embedding, I've seen a double-decker bus embedded in resin.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 04 2019

       Na uh you dinnuht.   

       You're just trying to get me to do a search for "double decker bus embedded in resin" as a "Made you look!" thing.   

       OK, it worked.
doctorremulac3, Feb 04 2019

       //One wonders what countless mourners would have experienced had John Lennon's body been on display. //   

       I believe that the Smithsonian has drawers full of dead beetles.
AusCan531, Feb 05 2019

       // the music he produced during his 50's and the covers he recorded in his 60s //   

       John Lennon was only 40 years old when he was murdered.   

       Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, who became known simply as "Lenin", died of natural causes aged 54.   

       But that doesn't necessarily mean the idea is tinned mince. On a personal level, as someone who has very recently been bereaved, and will shortly be so again, I'm tempted to fishbone this idea 'cos I'm still feeling very raw about the subject.   

       I wouldn't want my mother put on display in this manner, for example.   

       Yet I find it fascinating not so much in a macabre sense, but rather in a commemorative, even celebratory way, and that could have a great deal of aesthetic value. The ancient Romans (the rich ones at least) had a tradition of keeping real "death masks" of their ancestors and forebears at an altar in their homes, and they would consult them in "prayer", if you like, at times of crisis especially, for esoteric wisdom and guidance.   

       In parts of the Andes, where the ground is too solid to bury their dead, they have "sky burials". I'll leave you to figure that one out. That's what I'd like.   

       But it'd have to be tasteful.   

       Sorry to haver. Been away a long, long time <blush>.
saker, Feb 07 2019

       Welcome back, and sorry for your losses both past and future.   

       I think this would have to be done on the request of the soon-to-be-deceased. Personally, I'd like to be standing in the doorway of a room (which would be very inconvenient for everybody), half turning and with a hand raised in a "Oh, just one other thing..." sort of way.   

       I wonder if freeze-drying would work? There are companies who will freeze-dry your dog, cat or aardvark; I can't see why it wouldn't work for people.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 07 2019

       // half turning and with a hand raised in a "Oh, just one other thing..." sort of way. //   

       That would work really well for you, [MB], what with your stained, scruffy old raincoat, mad hair, and generally unkempt look.   

       It's always puzzled us why you never sued Peter Falk for plagiarism ...
8th of 7, Feb 07 2019

       A more 21st century mode of preservation after death would be to ignore the body entirely (cremate it, discard the ashes) but to preserve the voice of the subject. Prior to death, you would record a large number of key words, phrases and syllables from which words can be constructed. This would then form the 'voice' of the Alexa/Google or car satnav for your loved ones.
hippo, Feb 08 2019

       "... so I asked if they had the same one, but in light blue, and she said that ... oh, you should have turned left there ... they could order one but it'll be at least ten days, so then I went across the road ... aren't you going to turn round ? Why don't you stop and ask someone ? Anyway, the other place did have one in blue, but not the right size ..."   

       All that would achieve [hip] is to constantly remind you of why you strangled them in the first place.
8th of 7, Feb 08 2019

       Ah - I think you misunderstood - this is not something you do for the benefit of those who will continue to hear your voice for decades after your death, but rather something you do to mildly irritate them and make them think they should have been nicer to you while you were alive. Ideally your relatives should be sufficiently lacking in tech savviness to be unable to reset the thing to its default voice.
hippo, Feb 08 2019

       // make them think they should have been nicer to you while you were alive. //   

       Instead of reminding them why they're glad you're dead ?
8th of 7, Feb 08 2019

       //should have been nicer to you while you were alive ... reminding them why they're glad you're dead// - I admit, it's a fine line...
hippo, Feb 08 2019

       ... such as might be made by, for example, a straight blade razor drawn against the throat.
8th of 7, Feb 08 2019

       Nurse, it's back to the blunt crayons again I'm afraid. And one of those puce lozenges with some water.
pertinax, Feb 09 2019


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