Got any plans for after your death? No? Well, if your corpse's schedule is clear, consider these amazingly cool options for sending yourself into the afterlife in a creative way ...
For example: Body farms. They need your cadaver. Schools such as the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Texas State University operate outdoor research labs where forensic students study corpse decomposition rates. The purpose: Fighting crime. Once a corpse is skeletonized, it often remains with the university as part of a permanent collection.
You can't live indefinitely, but you can be preserved inside a stone that's been equated with eternity: The diamond. The company LifeGem will create a memorial diamond from the "carbon of your loved one as a memorial to their unique life," per the firm's website.
Artist Mark Sturkenboom's 21 Grams project offers to memorialize someone in a unique way. You're looking at a lockable gray box that doubles as a scent diffuser and an amp (it connects to an iPhone). Inside the box: a sex toy with 21 grams worth of cremated ashes inside.
Per Sturkenboom's website: "If [the widow] wishes, she is able to have an intimate night with her sweetheart again."
Mummification: It's not just for ancient Egyptians anymore. The company Summum will mummify you (or, if you prefer, a late beloved pet) and put it in a form similar to that of the ancients. The cost: A pharaonic $67,000.
Love marine life? Why not hang out with the fishies after you die? Eternal Reefs will mix your cremated ashes with environmentally-safe cast concrete to create new marine habitats for fish and other sea life.
Philadelphia's Mütter Museum collects rare human biological samples, such as the skeleton of the late Harry Raymond Eastlack, Jr., who suffered from the rare disease fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. If you have a unique or rare condition and have the means to pay for the preparation of your cadaver, the museum would love to hear from you.
Some tattoo artists will create memorial tattoos with ink made from your cremated ashes.
The ad agency BBDO Proximity Thailand created a campaign to dissuade smokers. The hooky visual: A bottle of ink made from the black lungs of smokers.
Longtime Marvel Comics editor Mark Gruenwald passed away in 1996. His dying wish: To have his ashes mixed into comic book ink. Marvel obliged, printing a collection of the Gruenwald-penned Squadron Supreme with specially prepared ink.
A "symbolic portion" of your cremated ashes will soar into space via Celestis, whose next scheduled launch comes in November 2015. Should you choose this option, know that you could be out there for a long time; the orbital life span of a Celestis satellite is estimated to last from five weeks to several hundred years.
Designer Katrina Spade has a unique vision for the future: Three-story buildings that can convert our bodies into nourishing compost for trees or flowers. Her project is currently raising funds to create a prototype.