If you're anything like me, you walked out of the Lord of the Rings movies thinking one thing and one thing only: "Man. I wish I could be an Ent." Yes, an Ent. Those enormous, majestic talking tree thingies that hang out with hobbits and kick ass when someone messes with their forrest. Well, thanks to the Capsula Mundi project by Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel, which allows people to be buried in pods that will grow into trees, you can get damn close. Here's the catch: you have to be dead. Small price to pay though, right? Also, you won't be an Ent, strictly speaking—you'll be a tree. It's not as cool as being an Ent, but it's probably way cooler than being dead.
The Capsula Mundi project is a new burial method that seeks to provide an alternative to traditional graveyards. The team has developed a biodegradable burial capsule wherein a corpse is interred in fetal position. Once the pod is in the ground, a tree or a tree seed is planted on top, nourished as the body of your loved on decomposes. (This is not to be confused with the Bios Urn, which got some media attention when it came out.) While it's only in concept stages now (such burial practices are currently illegal in the designers' home country of Italy), it's pretty heartening to think that such a practical and philosophically beautiful curtain call may be possible moving forward.
Do this enough times in one general area and you have a memorial forest, which is both lovely and environmentally friendlier than cemeteries.
This news will delight environmentalist and spiritual hippies alike, but will surely be a hard blow to goth kids around the world, who will have nowhere to hang out and smoke clove cigarettes after school once all the graveyards are gone. Poor, sad goth kids. Let's take a moment of silence for them.
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