Gradually entering the customs of our society, cremation or cremation has become in the space of four decades an alternative to burial. Moreover, according to a survey by the FIFG, one in two French people want to be cremated.
During cremation and by the use of fire, the body is reduced to ashes instead of being buried. For people who have made the choice of cremation, what happens in a crematorium to turn a body into fine ashes?
A crematorium is an oven for reducing the body of a human being to ashes. There are several stages and conditions to be observed before obtaining these famous ashes that relatives preserve.
Everything that happens in a crematorium
Even after death, it is a process that is quite risky. If the deceased has a pacemaker, there is a risk that they will explode inside the crematorium. Therefore jewelry should also be removed to avoid accidents. Some crematoriums can even cause dangerous gases, so they should be checked regularly.
During the cremation process, the chambers are heated to a temperature of 750 to 950 degrees Celsius. To ensure that the chamber can withstand heat, industrial bricks are always used on its outer layer.
In the majority of cases, the chamber only supports one body. Exceptions are only made when there is a deceased mother with a stillborn child for example, as it is often considered illegal to cremate multiple bodies together.
The body is effectively placed in a combustible casket when placed in the chamber. To ensure the chamber contains as much heat as possible, its door will only open slightly to allow the casket to enter. And once the coffin is in the chamber, it is engulfed in flames as the crematorium is powered by natural gas, propane or diesel.
Initially, the flames will burn the coffin before progressing towards the body itself. First, the skin and hair will be burnt. This is then followed by the muscles before finally the soft tissue in the body evaporates and the bones are calcified. The water will then leave the body in the form of vapor. When only the skeleton remains, the bones are crushed manually using a tool similar to that of a peasant hoe.
In some cases there may be an additional afterburner system that can help reduce emissions, odors and smoke.
The whole process takes between two to three hours, although it depends on various factors, such as body weight, type of casket and temperature of the crematorium.
The remaining dust is then removed from the chamber and placed on a tray, where a magnet is used to remove any metal parts, such as surgical screws. Following this, a small machine is used to crush any small bones that may remain.
And finally, the cremated remains are then placed in an urn and returned to relatives. This usually happens on the day of the funeral, but it can also take place 24 hours after.
Here are some weird wishes from famous people
When you reach a certain age, however, you have to make certain choices about what you want to do with your money, for example, or your body after death. This is called your last will and testament.
In the past, there have been extremely bizarre requests addressed to certain popular wills, which must be legally adhered to. Take a look at some of those weird instructions people left in their wills.
Mark Gruenwald was a famous man who left a bizarre and rather crude instruction in his will. He was the executive editor of Captain America and Iron Man and collaborated in several other Marvel comics. He had requested that after the cremation his ashes be mixed with the ink used to print his precious comics.
Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek also left an extremely strange and extravagant request in his will. His famous quote “Go boldly where no man has gone before” was fully exercised in his will. In 1997, its ashes were to be dispersed via a space satellite that orbit the Earth.
Toronto prosecutor Charles Vance Millar has left an extremely large sum of money to be won, for the Toronto woman who could produce the most offspring in the decade following her death.