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15 Unique Alternatives To Burying Your Body After You Die

Don't shuffle off this mortal coil without making plans for your meat sack.

You've probably heard of death. It's coming for all of us.

@griflikeafox / Via

And as BuzzFeed Health has reported, there's a lot that goes into planning for the death of a loved one (or for your own death). Part of that planning includes figuring out what you want to happen to your body after you die, so we rounded up some of the more creative options here. That way you won't be caught unawares when it's time to make some choices for your afterlife.

1. Get turned into a diamond.

Starting at a price point of LifeGem captures the carbon from a portion of your ashes and then heats it and presses it to turn it into a diamond. They then cut it to your specifications and send your loved one the resulting diamond. Depending on what diamond and cut you choose, you can spend as much as $25,000 on your diamond!

2. Donate yourself to a body farm.

UT Forensic Anthropology Center / Via

Body farms (or as they're known by their more formal, less goth name: outdoor forensic anthropology labs) are where researchers study human decomposition. Body farms help researchers learn things that help in law enforcement investigations — such as the decomposition timeline for a body that was found, say, wrapped in plastic and buried in a particular climate for a certain amount of time. They are also used to train cadaver dogs and search and rescue teams to find human remains. There are presently seven in the United States (you can see six of them here).

3. Get buried in a suit made from mushrooms and compost yourself.

For anyone who's not psyched about the environmental toll traditional burial (and traditional embalming) takes on the earth, the biodegradable Infinity Suit and Infinity Shroud, which are made of "mushrooms and other microorganisms" are zero waste and actually aid decomposition. You can get the suit or the shroud for $1,500 and be buried in either a biodegradable coffin or no container at all.

4. Get planted and grow into a tree.

Simonskafar / Getty Images

It's actually pretty simple using Living Urn's BioUrn. Your loved ones choose a place that gets plenty of sunlight and then dig a hole that's big enough for the BioUrn (which contains your cremated remains aka cremains). Place the BioUrn in the hole, add the provided proprietary growth agent, soil, and wood chips. Then lower the provided seedling you chose into the urn. Voilà; a baby tree that will grow from the biodegradable urn.

5. Become part of the ocean's habitat.

Eternal Reefs mixes your ashes with environmentally safe concrete and then lowers the reef into the ocean where it becomes a manmade habitat for sea life. Reefs range in price from $3,000 to $7,500 and locations for reef casting are available along the east and gulf coasts of the United States.

6. Get cremated at a facility that recycles unused energy from its cremations into electricity.

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Crematoriums in England and Sweden are capturing heat from the natural gas being used to in the cremation process (that would otherwise escape) to generate electricity. Giving an electricity grid life even in death...pretty cool.

7. Donate your body to a medical education program.

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Donating your body to science is great for anyone who likes the idea of helping students become better physicians, dentists, nurses, and physical therapists. They all learn anatomy from studying and working with human cadavers. And medical researchers use cadavers for developing surgical procedures, including reconstruction for burn victims, joint research, and more.

You can donate your body to a university-affiliated program or a private body donation firm.

8. Fill your body up with plastic (for science).

http://@body.worlds / Via

During plastination, the body's water and fats are replaced with plastics, which means that your body doesn't decay and is totally preserved, and can even be touched. Plastinated anatomy is handy for medical, dental, and animal science students (though you've maybe also come across plastinated bodies by way of the exhibit BodyWorlds). You can donate your body for plastination to The Institute for Plastination (IfP) in Heidelberg, Germany.

9. Get turned into fireworks and let a dazzling light show launch you into the heavens.

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Heavenly Stars Fireworks is a UK company that packs your cremains into fireworks so that you can get your ashes scattered into the sky by way of an amazing spectacle of lights and thunderous popping. Their cheapest option is the Remembrance Display Package, which goes for about $632 and includes "the finest explosions available at over 100 feet, incorporating gold tails to green peonies, crackling dragon eggs and red and blue chrysanthemum bursts."

10. Get your ashes pressed into a playable vinyl record with the audio of your choice. / Via

For about $3,800, UK-based company And Vinyly, will press your ashes into a record that plays 24 minutes (12 per side) of music or an audio recording (or simple silence). They come packaged with your date of birth and death on the cover, or you can pay more for the packaging to come adorned with your portrait.

11. Become a glass sculpture, accessory, or piece of jewelry.

Rocter / Getty Images

You can have your ashes incorporated into a piece of handcrafted glass art by Art From Ashes. You can choose from sculptures, stones, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, suncatchers, paperweights, and more. Some of the products showcase a swirl of your ashes, while in others you don't really see the cremains.

12. Get launched into outer space. / Via

A portion of your ashes can be launched into space and returned to Earth ($1,295), launched into the Earth's orbit ($4,995), into the moon's orbit or onto its surface ($12,500), or into deep space ($12,500). Celestis reserves a spot for your ashes on scheduled "memorial spaceflights" and allows your loved ones attend to the launch and track you in orbit.

13. Live on in an urn or figure bearing your (or your hero's) likeness.

If you go the action figure route, you can choose from a variety of 12" figures (doctor, karate, military, nurse, Superman, Indiana Jones, and more) that will hold your ashes and bear your likeness ($250), available from Cremation Solutions. And urn-wise you can get a small keepsake urn for $600 or a larger full-sized urn for $2,600 with the likeness of your choice, thanks to 3D imaging.

14. Float gently to the heavens in a biodegradable balloon.

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It's pretty straightforward: Your ashes go in the balloon, the balloon's inflation chamber is filled with helium, and Eternal Ascent Society releases the balloon wherever you or your loved ones specify. It floats to about 30,000 feet where it freezes and bursts, scattering your ashes. The cost for the service runs from $995 to $2,500.

15. Get cryonically frozen (and hopefully reanimated someday!).

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"Cryonics is our ambulance ride to the high-tech hospital we’re confident will exist in the near future," says the website of the Cryonics Institute (CI). CI is the facility that will take your legally dead body and put it on ice in the hopes that it can be revived some time in the future when medical technology has advanced enough that whatever made you dead initially can be cured or reversed. After the yearly membership dues of $120, being frozen and cared for (until it's time to defrost and revive you) will run you about $28,000.

You can read more about cryonics and why CI thinks it might work here.

This week, we're talking about preparing for and surviving the worst things imaginable. See more Disaster Week content here.