9 Startling Facts About Ashes That You Never Knew

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Did you know that the ashes of an average cremated human body weigh about 7 lbs? It’s easy to forget that our bodies are actually just a temporary vessel for our souls. Half of the ashes created at a crematorium are not bone, but rather ash and mineral matter. This is where crematoria engineers and pixel 3xl ashes of the singularity escalation image come in with their rotary kilns, which spin at a thousand degrees Fahrenheit. The heat breaks down human remains into manageable pieces, before they’re finally pulverized into dust.

1. The average cremated human body weighs about 7 lbs.

The ash from a cremated body is the end result of a very involved process. The casket, for instance, is often lined with lead to help prevent corrosion and leach out dangerous toxins before being closed up for final interment. In addition, it is usually filled with a synthetic form of cement or clay called hydraulic lime to further harden the body and prevent any remaining moisture from rotting the remains over time. Furthermore, coffin linings are occasionally lined with barium sulfate to provide luminescence (this is why some caskets glow in the dark).

2. Cremation is actually slower than embalming in terms of decomposition rates.

Embalming is one of the oldest methods of preserving a body, having been practiced by ancient civilizations all over the world. By infusing the body with chemical fluids, as well as tightly wrapping it in cotton and layering it in sheets, embalmers can prevent decomposition and enable a much longer storage period. Generally speaking, embalming usually starts around four hours after death, during which time blood is drained and replaced with various preservative fluids on a timed schedule. Since modern day embalming still uses natural chemicals that were used by ancient Romans and Egyptians, such as formaldehyde or ammonia salts to help disinfect the remains, it actually accelerates decomposition more quickly than cremation does.

3. Cremation is much more environmentally friendly than embalming.

Embalming, on the other hand, significantly increases the number of toxic chemicals used and requires significant energy since refrigeration has to be used in order to keep all of the fluid chemicals cold. Cremation, on the other hand, uses no toxic chemical substances or thermal processing for the purpose of preservation. Instead, fire is used to quickly destroy the body and naturally reduce it from its original form into a dry ash. Less waste ends up in landfills, too.

4. Cremation is the preferred method of disposal for corpses on military reservations.

Common practice throughout the US military has been to cremate fallen soldiers, rather than bury them. This is not just because it is less expensive, but also because “burial at sea” was a common practice up until 2003, when it was banned due to concerns about toxic seepage into soil and groundwater from buried remains and secondary contamination from the decades of ground-level exposure to chemical weapons in former battlefields.

5. Before they can be cremated, bodies must undergo an autopsy by a pathologist or coroner’s office.

In order for human remains to be cremated, the body must be medically certified as deceased. Ordinarily, this would be done by a medical doctor who signs a death certificate and certifies the time of death. This can vary from state to state, however; some states require that a pathologist or coroner complete an autopsy before the body is cremated.

6. Cremation incurs a carbon footprint that’s about half the size of burial.

The carbon footprint of burial is significant due to all of the resources required for digging, transporting, and filling in a grave site against erosion (or constructing an above-ground crypt or mausoleum). However, the carbon footprint of cremation is half that of burial.

7. Most crematoriums are located within 30 minutes of a major metropolitan area.

The majority of funeral homes, crematoriums, and mortuaries are typically located near large cities or municipalities that have populations in excess of 100,000 people. This is due to the close proximity required for a quick transportation service between the funeral home and either individual casketed graves or a crematee’s final resting place outside the city itself (though many cemeteries are expanding their burial-to-cremation services).

8. In the US, 85% of cremations are now done through “direct cremation” services.

Funeral homes and crematories have long offered both direct and indirect cremation services. Though direct cremations used to be rare, they are now the leading choice of disposition service in the United States (85%) because they’re simpler, less expensive, and generally more ecofriendly than traditional embalming methods.

9. The Catholic Church requires that the body be buried within 24 hours if the person died from natural causes.

The Catholic Church requires that a body be buried within 24 hours of death if the person died from natural causes. This can be a bit tricky when the deceased is under medical care since many hospitals will use intravenous fluids to keep the patient alive.


• Cremation is faster than embalming, is more environmentally friendly, and costs less to do.

• Cremation is faster than burial, requires fewer resources and takes less time to do.

• Human remains generally require approximately 2-4 weeks for human decomposition.

• Human remains will require about 2-4 weeks after embalming before they are ready for cremation.

• For a direct cremation service at a funeral home or crematory, the average cost of a full service funeral is $4,780 in 2013 dollars.


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