THE NETHERLANDS - Made of a fungus, the "living" coffin is capable of converting a decomposing human body into nutrients for plants.
The Cocoon casket from small Dutch firm Loop is made of mycelium, the fibers that forms the roots of mushrooms underground.
"Mycelium is nature's recycler," says Bob Hendrikx, founder of Loop and coffin mastermind. "It's constantly looking for waste products – oil, plastic, metals, other pollutants – and converting them into nutrients for the environment. “This coffin means we actually feed the earth with our bodies. We are nutrients, not waste.”
The coffin is grown like a plant at the company's lab at the Delft University of Technology, writes Reuters. Mycelium is mixed with wood chips in the mold of a coffin. After the mycelium's growth has progressed enough, the casket is dried and ready to go. It can hold up to 440 pounds.
Ground water will dissolve the buried casket within 45 days, with body decomposition taking between two and three years. Traditional coffins take 10 to 20 years to decompose a body.
Hendrikx has made and sold 10 coffins so far. Each sells for around $1,750.
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