I have told my sister since I was about 12 (I’m 21 now) that I’m going to put in my will as a last request to be stuffed and sit on her fireplace :0) Do people ever get stuffed?
Jeremy Bentham managed to have his wishes carried out:
You might run afoul of some regulation or another these days. You will note that Bentham’s head is not kept with the rest of the body - it kept getting stolen, and reportedly was used by the students for football practice in one incident.
There’s a college in my town (Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fl) that specialized in the “mortituary arts”, and they used to do research on Egyptian mummifaction, which IIRC involves some stuffing.
The latest technology in mummification is called “plastination”, in which the corpse is soaked in acetone until all the water and fat is dissolved out, then replaced with silicone plastic. The result is a perfectly preserved mummy, soft and dry to the touch, and devoid of any smell. Should last darn near forever if stored correctly.
Jeremy’s head isn’t in that great of shape. The preservation techniques weren’t advanced enough to make the head look life-like, so a wax model was made, and the real head was stored between his feet. As you noted, this turned out to be a not-so-good idea.
Bentham actually asked that his form be preserved by the “New Zealand method” and “the entire skeleton with the head above it and connected with it, be placed in a sitting posture, and made up into the form of a living body, covered with the most decent suit of clothes, not being black or gray, which I may happen to leave at my decease.”
This essay has some very interesting information: