Would you like a tree to grow from your dead body after you die?

A bizarre burial alternative to turn your body into a tree after you die is trying to be got off the ground – or rather under it – in Italy.

This radical different approach to death explores the concepts of life coming full circle and returning human beings to the earth in the same position they entered into the world from in the womb – and life continuing to live on.

The idea is that your dead body is placed in the foetal position in a organic burial capsule that turns your corpse into nutrients for a tree that will grow out of your remains.


Boring cemeteries could acquire a new look – instead of being a typical “cold grey landscape” they can grow into vibrant forests. Burial plots are notoriously in ever decreasing supply and eco experts and climate change campaigners would likely also welcome the opportunity for people to ‘give something back’ to the planet in death.

The Capsula Mundi Project is the brainchild of designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel who are developing it in Italy as a concept to “redesign the coffin” – but it could take off worldwide if there is enough enthusiasm.


First the body is positioned in a bag or pod made of starch-based plastic which is 100% biodegradable and which is then buried in the ground. Then a seed or sapling is planted directly above the pod and, as its roots grown down, the tree uses the nutrients that emerge from the corpse to develop.


You can choose the type of tree you want to grow from your remains and your family can visit for generations to come, perhaps in some kind of sacred forest rather than a graveyard full of stones.

The project is still at ‘start up phase’ and the inventors are still trying to figure out the burial pod process and get legal permission to go ahead with the idea in Italy and other countries.

Source: Biodegradable coffins

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