The most heinous things imaginable need to be done to you in the bedroom, which still would not come close to you in the lake of fire! Imagine that. Very heinous. Or haynus. Gruesome, yet oddly arousing.
Excuse the bluntness, but once we shuffle off this mortal coil, our bodies are nothing but bags of live bacteria and dead cells. We can attempt to slow our decay (embalming), or we can preempt it with a destructive blaze (cremation). We can also dissolve our bodies with lye, using an increasingly popular procedure called alkaline hydrolysis.
Or least some of us can. Alkaline hydrolysis—also known as liquid cremation or water cremation or bio-cremation—is currently legal in only 8 U.S. states. Despite being one of the cheapest and most environmentally-friendly forms of dealing with a cadaver, it is not an option for most of us.
One way to think about it is that alkaline hydrolysis rapidly speeds up the ordinary decay process using heat, pressure, and an alkaline substance such as potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide. The body is put inside a steel vessel with 80 gallons or so of water that is heated up to 300 degrees—killing any microbes and even destroying prions responsible for the human version of mad cow disease. After an hour or two, most of the body dissolved into liquid. The remaining bone is ground up into ash.
“The biggest misunderstanding is that they think the whole body goes down the drain,” Regnier says. Even with that misunderstanding out of the way, though, it’s easy to see why people might be squeamish about being “poured down the pipe.” But that might just show our ignorance about how dead bodies are usually treated. Blood and body liquids are poured down the drain when coroners do embalming — and burned particles pouring out through the smokestacks in cremation.