Dutch inventor's mushroom coffins turn bodies into compost

The coffin turns corpses into compost, which enriches the soil thanks to the mycelium, the root structure of the mushrooms. By

According to Bob Hendrix, who came up with the idea in his student laboratory at Delft University of Technology, the Living Cocoon is the first in the world.

“This is the world's first living coffin, and in fact last Saturday the first person in the Netherlands was composted and put back into the cycle of life,” he told AFP.

The coffin was the final resting place of 82-year-olda woman whose body will decompose within two to three years. If a traditional coffin with lacquered wood and metal handles is used, the process usually takes over ten years. Meanwhile, the coffin itself will disappear within 30–45 days.

“In fact, this is an organism, therefore it consistsfrom the mycelium, which is the root structure of mushrooms, explains Hendrix. “They are the most powerful processors in nature. This is the most natural way to do it ... We no longer pollute the environment with toxins in our body and everything that goes into the coffins, but we are trying to enrich it and really be compost for nature. "

The mushroom coffin is the same size and shape asa classic coffin, but its pale color is typical of mycelium. Inside it is a bed of moss, on which the body will lie, as well as various insects and other inhabitants of the soil.

In general, the coffin is much lighter than the usual one made of wood. It is also cheaper and currently costs around 1,500 euros.

To make coffins, you must first collectforest moss, mycelium with mushrooms, and then mix it with wood chips. In seven days, it will turn into a solid material, which is actually an organism, Hendrix explains.

“After that it dries naturally,literally removing the mold and just letting it stay. And then the mycelium, the organism, becomes inactive. When it is in the ground, it starts to activate again if a lot of moisture gets on the body. Then he starts the process of decomposition. "

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