Entrepreneurs are getting creative with ways to dispose of human remains. Businesses help mourners dispose of their loved ones in a variety of ways, from creating portraits of the deceased using his or her own ashes, to using the carbon from the remains to make pencils.
Unique funerary rites are no longer limited to the famous eccentrics, such as author Hunter S. Thompson, who requested his body be launched by a giant catapult into the wilderness.
Here’s a look at four strange ways to handle ashes without an urn—or without a conventional urn.
1. Fireworks, Out With a Bang
Craig Hull’s business, Ashes to Ashes, turns human remains into fireworks. Hull told the Sydney Morning Herald: “Instead of a sad memory of sending the ashes off into the ocean or putting them under a tree or in a bush or a rose garden, this … [is] a spectacular display of color and sound and to be able to actually toast and celebrate their life.”
Image of fireworks via Shutterstock
2. Pencils, Utilitarian Fate
A design by Nadine Jarvis turns the carbon from human remains into a set of pencils, according to Inhabitat.com. The person’s name is printed on each pencil. A human body makes a set of about 240 pencils. As you use the pencils, you collect the sharpenings in the pencil box.
Image of a pencil via Shutterstock
3. Ammunition, Killing With the Dead
Thad Holmes and Clem Parnell’s business Holy Smoke puts cremated remains into ammunition. Holmes told the Sydney Morning Herald: ”You’re not just put in an urn, placed on a mantle or buried in the ground. … [For] the people you leave behind, it allows them to use your ashes to go hunting with, and celebrate your life the way you liked to live your life.”
Image of a bullet and gunpowder via Shutterstock
4. 3-D Printed, Taking a New Shape
Dutch Designer Wieki Somers has used a 3-D printer to process human ashes into sculptures, such as one of a toaster and a bird. Another sculpture was of a mini vacuum and another of a scale. The works, featured by Design Boom, were meant to make people consider how everyday objects are valued. The collection was titled “Consume or Conserve.”
*Lead image of fireworks via Shutterstock