Screw-in Coffin Saves Space, Reduces Labor Costs


all images from patent application

The Bible says "ashes to ashes and dust to dust" but that doesn't stop many people from wanting a permanent, tightly sealed container for their loved one's remains. But burying people horizontally is an extravagant use of real estate, and digging those holes is a lot of work. Inventor Donald Scruggs to the rescue; he would have us spinning in our graves with Patent 2007/005958, "A series of burial containers having means by which they can be pressed, agitated, screwed and or self bored into a receiving material, provide low cost interment methods with hermetic sealing, security locking, plaque and memorial markers and built in flower and flag receptacles."


Unlike a conventional coffin which opens on the top, in this version of Scrugg's Screw, the beloved deceased is slid in the end;


After which they are upended and then, as they used to describe it in The Right Stuff, augured in to the ground, either manually as shown above,


Or mechanically, in a process that looks suspiciously like that of installing helical piles for buildings, , which suggests a whole new use for us after we are gone, creating the foundation for those who follow.


Different caps with decorative tops can be added, so that piscetarians, Christians and Anastarians alike can share this clever system of burial.


For those who demand the best (and an open coffin funeral), Scruggs offers a flip-top double helix version, although the seals will probably not last to eternity. We could make all kinds of very clever plays on words about being screwed, etc, but they have all been done in the comments in Gizmodo.


Is it green? We do go on about density, taking up less land and living with less, so dying with less makes some sense. On the other hand, there is that dust-to-dust thing, where we are supposed to decompose and give ourselves back to the land, like you do in an ecopod.

More on the Green Way of Death in TreeHugger:

Natural Burial Travels East
The Last Act - Green Burial
Can Green Funerals Be Fun?
The Shroud of Marin- the New Yorker on Eco-Burial
Slate on the Latest in Green Burial
Georgia Eco-Cemetery Lets Your Family Dig Your Own Grave
The Green Goodbye
TreeHugger Picks: Going Out In Green Style
Forget Tombstones - Get An RFID Memorial Tablet Instead
Ecopod: Green Coffins -- Bling Optional