Liquid Death, Anyone?

080512_HN_tissue.jpgWasn’t there a scene in “The Professional” where a body was disposed of with lye? Well, it looks like you can now opt to have your corpse disposed of in just the way a serial killer or a psychotic hit man in a pinch for time might. You can now have your body turned into a “brown, syrupy residue”. Um, yay? Here’s a snip from Slate’s wonderful Human Nature blog post, Human Liquid:

(…) “It uses lye, 300-degree heat and 60 pounds of pressure per square inch to destroy bodies in big stainless-steel cylinders that are similar to pressure cookers. … In addition to the liquid, the process leaves a dry bone residue similar in appearance and volume to cremated remains. It could be returned to the family in an urn or buried in a cemetery. The coffee-colored liquid has the consistency of motor oil and a strong ammonia smell. But proponents say it is sterile and can, in most cases, be safely poured down the drain, provided the operation has the necessary permits.”
I know it sounds bad. Lye is what we use to dissolve dead animals, and, over the years, mass-murdering dictators have given it a bad name, using it to torture people and get rid of bodies. But think of the benefits: “Alkaline hydrolysis doesn’t take up as much space in cemeteries as burial. And the process could ease concerns about crematorium emissions, including carbon dioxide as well as mercury from silver dental fillings.” Link.

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