TOP 7 BIZARRE DEATH-RELATED FACTS

TOP 7 BIZARRE DEATH-RELATED FACTS

TOP 7 BIZARRE DEATH-RELATED FACTS

 

 

1. EDISON’S DYING BREATH

Thomas Edison’s dying breath was captured in a bottle.

Thomas Edison, the well-known inventor who perfected the modern lightbulb, was friends with Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, and considered to be the father of modern assembly lines. As Edison lay dying, Ford convinced his son, Charles, to fill a bottle with Edison’s dying breath. Charles complied by bottling some of the air in the room. The bottle is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Greenford, Michigan.

 

2. SKY BURIAL

 Tibetan Buddhists cut and beat a dead body (including the bones) to a pulp and leave the results for vultures to eat.

As Tibetan Buddhists believe in reincarnation, they consider the dead body to be an empty vessel that has no further use in life except as food for nature. Coupled with the very hard rocky ground in Tibet, sky burial seemed the most effective method of disposal. While accounts differ slightly from burial to burial, common features exist. Tibetan monks cut the limbs off the body and hack them to pieces. Each piece is handed to an assistant who bashes it to a pulp with rocks and then mixes it with barley flour, tea, and yak butter. This is then left for the vultures. In some places, the vultures are so eager to eat that the monks have to beat them off with sticks until they are ready to feed them.

 

3. SIN-EATER

 Ancient British people employed a sin-eater to “eat” the sins of the dead.

In ancient England, Scotland, and Wales, each village had a member (usually a beggar) who was the designated “sin-eater.” When a person died in the village, the sin-eater would be called into their home. A relative would place a loaf of bread on the chest of the dead and pass a cup of ale to the sin-eater across it. The sin-eater would drink the ale and eat the bread, thereby eating the sins of the dead person. The origins of this bizarre practice are unknown but it is believed to have continued into modern times in Wales.

 

4. TOWERS OF SILENCE

 Zoroastrians “bury” their dead in circular towers to avoid the demon of the dead.

Zoroastrian tradition says that a dead body is unclean and that the evil corpse demon would rush to a dead body to contaminate it and anything else it came into contact with. For this reason, the Zoroastrians built towers with a roof containing three concentric rings (one for men, one for women, and one for children) on which they would place the dead bodies until they were completely destroyed by birds and sun. The remaining bones would then be shoved into a central well where they would remain buried inside the tower. This tradition continues to this day in Parsi communities in India.

 

5. SOAP PEOPLE

Some humans turn into soap after they die.

In a process known as saponification, some human bodies turn partly or completely into soap (adipocere—also known as grave wax). The fatty tissue of the body, along with other liquids from putrefaction, slowly form into lumps of adipocere; this happens to both embalmed and non-embalmed bodies. It is especially common in people with large fat deposits in their bodies prior to death. The famous Mutter Museum has an exhibit of “The Soap Lady” which is entirely composed of grave wax. On occasion, these deposits can be seen leaking from closed tombs.

 

6. DANCE OF DEATH

 In Madagascar, people dig up the bones of their loved ones and dance with them.

Each year, the Malagasy people of Madagascar perform a funeral tradition called Famadihana. The ceremony involves the digging up of the bones of loved ones, dressing them in new clothing, and dancing with them around the tomb to live music. The custom is surprisingly not especially ancient (seventeenth century) and the Catholic Church permits it because it is not a religion but rather a cultural custom. The practice is beginning to decline in modern days due to objections from Protestant groups and the high price of the silk shrouds usually used in the ceremony.

 

7. TO SPACE AND BEYOND

 It is now possible to be buried in space!

A company called Memorial Space Flights will now launch your loved one’s cremated remains into outer space for a fee. In addition, they will provide you with a memorial service and an excellent spot from which to watch the rocket launch off with the remains. Because of the high price involved in each launch, the company only launches a small portion of the remains—the rest of the ashes are scattered to sea if you wish. Once your loved one is in space, you can go online to view the location of the rocket as it travels in its permanent orbit around the earth. The company offers a variety of different services to suit your budget: brief orbit and return to earth ($695), permanent orbit around Earth ($2495), launch to the surface of the moon ($9995), and launch into deep space ($12,500).

 

 

 

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