Fungus Among Us

This Moss-Filled Coffin Is Made Out of Fungus

"We are degrading organisms into dead, polluting materials, but what if we kept them alive?"

9. 15. 20 by Victor Tangermann
Loop
Image by Loop

Designers from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands teamed up with a local natural history museum to develop the “Living Cocoon,” a moss-filled, “living” coffin made out of a special fungus.

The coffin significantly speeds up the time it takes for a human body — plus all the clothing and other materials that get buried along with it — to decompose, from roughly a decade to as little as two years, according to its inventors.

All images: TU Delft

That’s in large part thanks to its construction material of mycelium, a fast-growing, fungus-like bacterial colony that can grow into massive underground networks.

Mycelium is also able to neutralize toxic substances and provide nutrition to anything growing nearby, meaning that the soil will actually benefit from such a burial in the long term.

Advertisement

“The Living Cocoon enables people to become one with nature again and to enrich the soil, instead of polluting it,” Bob Hendrikx, founder of Loop, the startup that developed the coffin, said in a statement.

To Hendrikx, it’s about living alongside living materials. “We are currently living in nature’s graveyard,” he argued. “Our behavior is not only parasitic, it’s also short-sighted.”

“We are degrading organisms into dead, polluting materials, but what if we kept them alive?,” he added. “Just imagine: a house that can breathe and a T-shirt that grows with you.”

The researchers behind the Living Cocoon have already completed a funeral in which the deceased was buried in one, what they claim to be a world’s first, as Dutch News reports.

Advertisement

The Living Cocoon echoes similar inventions, such as the “Infinity Burial Suit,” dreamed up by green burial company Coeio. It’s essentially a “death suit,” with mycelia spores infused into its crocheted netting.

Loop is now investigating the positive effects and increases in biodiversity as a result of burying such a coffin.

“We want to know exactly what contribution it makes to the soil as this will help us to convince local municipalities in the future to transform polluted areas into healthy woodland, using our bodies as nutrients,” Hendrikx added.

READ MORE: A growing business: Dutch develop ‘living’ coffin made of mushroom mycelium [Dutch News]

Advertisement

More on mushrooms: These Researchers Want You to Live In a Fungus Megastructure


As a Futurism reader, we invite you join the Singularity Global Community, our parent company’s forum to discuss futuristic science & technology with like-minded people from all over the world. It’s free to join, sign up now!

Share This Article

Keep up.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep in touch with the subjects shaping our future.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy

Advertisement

Copyright ©, Singularity Education Group All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.