New green burial plans will see corpses placed in giant ‘seed pods’


  • Designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel propose bizarre burial method
  • They hope to create giant seed pods inside which bodies are placed
  • These pods are buried and they are used to help a newly planted tree grow

Two artists are developing a bizarre new method of burial – in which a corpse is stuffed inside a giant capsule and buried below ground to nourish a newly-planted tree.

Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel have created the ‘Capsula Mundi’ concept – a radical programme designed to ‘promote the realization of green cemeteries’.

They hope their proposed method of burial will catch on to the point cemeteries will ‘no longer be full of tombstones and will become a sacred forest’.

The person first chooses the tree they want to be planted, then upon their death they are placed inside a capsule and buried underneath it

The person first chooses the tree they want to be planted, then upon their death they are placed inside a capsule and buried underneath it

The body then releases nutrients which feed the tree above them
Placed in a foetal position, they are buried inside the biodegradable pod

Placed in a foetal position, they are buried inside the biodegradable pod and decompose, releasing nutrients which feed the tree above them

On their website, the pair write: ‘Death is a mysterious, delicate and inevitable step. The dead cannot be just a technical problem, it cannot be treated as a taboo.

‘Capsula Mundi saves the life of a tree and proposes to plant one more. By planting different kinds of trees next to each other it creates a forest.

‘A place where children will be able to learn all about trees. It’s also a place for a beautiful walk and a reminder of our loved ones.’

Using a 100 per cent biodegradable starch-based plastic capsule, the corpse would be curled into the foetal position then placed inside it and buried, like a giant seed pod.

Above the capsule, a tree previously selected by the deceased is planted, in the hope nutrients from the corpse will help it grow.

However, the designer couple’s jump into the burial industry has already hit a snag – Italian laws, unlike Britain’s, forbids so-called natural births, The Independent on Sunday reported.

In order to comply with the rules, they will begin a toned down version of the programme which places cremated ashes, rather than entire bodies, inside small capsules.

Rosie Inman, the head of Britain’s Natural Death Cetnre, told the paper the concept looked like ‘something that should be in an art gallery’.

She added: ‘It is a fantasy. We’re real people doing this in the real world. My question is, have they ever buried someone? No. It’s just silliness.’

When hundreds are planted together, its designers claim they would create a 'memory forest' rather than a traditional cemetery

When hundreds are planted together, its designers claim they would create a ‘memory forest’ rather than a traditional cemetery

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