Posted on: May 28, 2016 at 10:59 am
Last updated: August 3, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Being buried in a big wooden box is slowly becoming a thing of the past. A new project is being developed in Italy that has a unique approach to the concept of death.


The idea of having your body become the seed of a tree after passing was developed by Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel, and it is titled the “Capsula Mundi” project. The two designers came up with the idea of using an organic and biodegradable capsule as all-natural coffins, and are now trying to get it out of the start-up phase.

The idea is that, instead of creating burial grounds full of tombstones, the deceased will be able to provide nutrients for a tree of their choosing that will be placed on top of the area that they were buried.


The body of the deceased is placed in one of these biodegradable capsules in a fetal position. The capsule, with the deceased in it, is then buried, and either a tree or the seed of a tree is then planted above the capsule. The person being buried would choose what kind of tree they would want planted when they are alive.



The capsule is planted in the soil the same way one would plant a seed.



The capsule is made up of starch plastic, a type of plastic derived from starch, making it completely biodegradable. Here is an infographic of the process.


Pods and trees can be planted together to form a “Memorial Forest”.



The physical component of the idea has yet to come into fruition, partially due to Italy’s burial laws. However, if the project does succeed in it’s goal it could revolutionize the way we view a loved one who has passed on, and even change our perception on death entirely. Caring for the tree of a loved one who has passed on allows for a new level of connection towards both the deceased and nature at the same time.



Pods on display in Jaffa, Israel.


You can find out more about this project by checking out their Facebook page. Let us know in the comment section what you think about this project.



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