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Morbid Reality: Facts About Death

Green burials

A Swedish company will pulverize your body and bury it in a cornstarch urn, providing a completely bio-degradable burial. Highly un-traditional, but if you spent your life concerned about the environment, why not spend death doing so as well?

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Suicide versus murder

More people die by suicide in New York City than are murdered there. A lot of people like to refer to New York as a dangerous place because of some of the other people there, but the loneliness seems to often be the most deadly thing about it.

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Space burials

A company in the USA called Memorial Space Flights will now launch your loved ones cremated remains in to outer space for a fee. You can pay more to have them orbit the Earth, go to the surface of the Moon, or launch into deep space (the most expensive option).

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American funerals are terrible for the environment

Burials in America deposit 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid—formaldehyde, methanol, and ethanol—into the soil each year. Cremations are also pretty bad, pumping dioxins, hydrochloric acid, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide into the air.

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Not the most dignified way to go…

An average of 600 people every year die of autoerotic asphyxiation. In case you didn’t know because you’re, you know, a normal human being, this means they died while choking themselves in order to achieve an orgasm. Yeah. Next!

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Death by…snacks?

Vending machines kill an average of 13 people per year by falling on their victims. Those suckers are heavy, so stop shaking them when your candy bar doesn’t come out…you just might get your wish!

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Death by texting

Texting while driving kills around 6,000 people in the U.S alone. We don’t have access to a worldwide statistic, but the warning should be fairly obvious: Don’t use your phone while driving, people!

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Rituals in Madagascar

In Madagascar, people dig up the bones of their loved ones and dance in the streets with them every year in a tradition called Famadihana. They then replace the shawl that carried the bones and re-bury them. Your call: Is this creepy or sort of morbidly adorable?

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Victorians took the creepiest pictures

Victorians photographed their dead because they could seldom afford a picture of them alive. It often cost a lot of money to take a picture of a person who constantly moved around when photography was still young, so they used pictures of the dead as a ‘memento mori.’

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Mummies were used as train fuel

In the 19th century, Egypt had such an excess of mummies that they started using them as fuel for trains engines. An excellent contrast of the different cultures of the dead between ancient and modern cultures.

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We aren’t comfortable saying “death”

There are over 200 commonly used euphemisms for “die” or “death,” so we don’t have to say the word. Phrases such as “passing away,” or “pushing daisies,” are used by many to avoid completely facing the topic in conversation.

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We’ve always buried our dead

The practice of burying the dead bodies dates back 350,000 years; fossils even older than Neanderthals have been found by archaeologists.

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100 billion deaths

There have been approximately 100 billion deaths since the beginning of time. Since there are approximately 7 billion alive right now, that means we have around 7% of all people who have ever lived on the planet right now!

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Most die in hospitals

80% of people who die in the United States die in a hospital. No need for alarm, folks, they’re still the best places to get well. It’s just that most of the people that live there are, you know, sick.

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Can’t die of ‘old age’

No American has officially died of ‘old age’ since 1951, when the government eliminated that classification on death certificates. These folks certainly seem happy about that!

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