Mushroom “Death Suit”: Why Being Eaten by Mushrooms After You Die Is the Best Way to Go

February 17, 2016 | Johannes Van Zijl

The mushroom death suit worn by a model
Photo credit: Jae Rhim Lee wearing the Mushroom Death Suit. Photo by Mikey Siegel

A burial that won't poison the planet.

Designer, Jae Rhim Lee, wants us to think about death in a new way. She has created an eco-friendly jumpsuit woven from mushroom-spore-infused threads, nicknamed the ‘mushroom death suit’.

During her 2011 TED Talk, Lee addressed the dangers of ordinary burials and shared some of her research. Typical burials seek to honor the dead, but end up poisoning the living by releasing many unwanted chemicals like formaldehyde into nature. Even cremation releases toxins into the air that could result in respiratory irritation and reproductive issues.

SEE ALSO: Take a Video Tour of the World’s Largest Dead Body Farm

The human body releases up to 219 different toxins after death, and Lee believes her mushroom death suit can contain them. The idea is that the mushroom spores woven into the suit, which is worn by the deceased, will start to grow from the body once buried. The mushrooms will slowly digest the body, but more importantly, will eliminate the environmental toxins, such as heavy metals and preservatives, that the body harbors after death.

The elimination of toxins by the mushrooms is due to their ability to clean up toxic contaminants from the environment through a process known as mycoremediation. Lee and her company, Coeio, have established the Infinity Burial Project, which will bring the mushroom burial suit for sale to the public as early as April 2016 for a retail price of $999.  In comparison, a traditional casket costs $2,000 on average.

mushroom death suit
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Although Coeio has not shared a lot of information regarding what ‘Infinity Mushroom’ strain they will be using for the suit, they have revealed that Jae Rhim Lee fed different mushroom strains her hair, nails and skin, and chose the types most efficient in decomposition — the most important job required for the suit.

The mushroom death suit
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The mushroom death suit is a definite must for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint by decomposing in an eco and wallet-friendly way.

Watch Lee's Ted Talk here:


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