where will we put all the corpses?

ok so we all have to die and there are billions of us who are alive and even more who have lived. and im assuming the majority of us have been or will be buried, (that seems the most popular disposal of dead) so my question is, will we run out of room? how long does it take for a body to completely decompose? after that, what about the coffin? are they just going to start buring us on top of each other? or do all the materials naturally disolve, leaving room for the next poor sap? but then what about the gravestones? you cant just take them down and put someone else there. this is all very confusing please help.:confused:

6 billion people don’t take up that much room.

Assume a grave has to be 8 ft by 4 ft. That’s 871,200 graves per square mile. So you need 6,887 square miles for all those dead. That’s 83 miles by 83 miles.

In Mexico, graves are re-cycled (thereby, at one time, providing skeletons for medical schools). IIRC, it was on 3-generation cycle (grandchildren replace grandparents in that area of the the cemetary). Suspect it’s changed - I know the rules about bone harvesting have.

Lately, in the US, “burn and scatter” has become increasingly popular - no real estate wasted in scattering at sea.

Cremation is still the minority option in the U.S., according to statistics from the cremation industry, but it’s clearly gaining ground (pun intended). In Canada, according to the same site, it’s almost a dead heat (oh, Lord, stop me before I pun again!).

There’s still quite a bit of room under my floorboards.

Cremation is about 70% here in the UK.

Isn’t it quite common in cemetaries for graves to be dug up after a certain period of time to make space for new bodies, with the old remains being thrown together in a big pit? Or did this used to be the case?

In Europe they would did up the bones and inter them in an ossuary.

I was watching “We built this city- France” last night and they were talking about (before the french revolution) how the bodies were piling up higher than ground level in the cemeteries to the point of public health emergency.

They had them moved to the abandoned limestone quarries beneath the city (catacombs). They said it took two straight years working every night. The bones are all stacked up in neat rows with no markers except which cemetery they came from.

…Oh…on the Discovery channel. It’s a series.
New York was another focus.

In late-1700s Paris, there was an acute lack of real estate compounded with frequent flooding. Corpses buried in cemetaries were actually contaminating the public water supply. The solution by city officials was to empty the cemetaries and stack the bones in the limestone quarry tunnels beneath the city. They’re now known as the Paris Catacombs.

Some pictures and info:

Beaten to the punch! :smack: Yes, I got my info from the same show last night.

Cool, you have links though with fancy pictures.

Then there’s always the soylent solution.

Yep, that’s what they do. On our local cemetery, you can rent a tomb for up to 25 years, with one optional extension of another 25 years possible. Afterwards, the grave becomes available for someone else, the remains (not too much, but there is something left) gets to an ossuary. I have no idea where those ossuaries are and what they do if those are filled up, but I’m not too keen on finding out.

Cremation is not very common in Germany, but the rate is rising steadily; seems to be around 40 per cent nationwide, in Catholic regions it’s much less. Nonetheless, the urns have to be entombed in a public cemetery, too - taking them home or scattering the ash is still illegal.

when the body is dug up and put in an ossuary, what happenens to the gravestones?

when the body is dug up and put in an ossuary, what happenens to the gravestones? we must not do that here in america because i see really old gravestones and cemetaries all the time.

There are lots of things to do with the body:

donate it to science which means you could be used for practice of face lift surgery, school disection, surgeries of all sorts, car dealership safety rides

go thru a recylcing service such as “Promossa” This company turns loved ones into compost so you can plant a tree or shrub with it.

there is always plastination. That is where they turn you into a gumby like figure to preserve you for eternity.

there is LIFE GEMS which will burn your ashes and use the carbon to make a diamond of your loved one

you can donate the organs and cremate the remains.

There are many graveyards that will bury the body and 25 years later unearth it and rebury it and put someone on top of you.
This has been the practice for a long time in many countries.

It’s a non-issue, since the supply and demand of economics is always in play. In other words, there are competitive market forces at work that determine the value of land. As burial land gets more scarce, it gets expensive, and more people will opt for cremation.

So many corpses, so little time…

Does anyone know what the laws are in Denmark regarding burial and cremation?