Go Out With Your Glow Out: Prototype Bio-Fueled "Mourning Lights" For Cemeteries

Sure, the future may look cool now, but what about looking further...say, for after you're dead?  If you're not useful and good-looking already, here's a way that you may be able to improve that...although unfortunately, it'll be too late for you to really enjoy it.


Not exactly like this, although that would be cool.
(Image courtesy aliexpress.com.)


According to TheDailyDot.com, a project conducted by Columbia University's very metal-sounding DeathLAB proclaimed that in the future, cemeteries may be illuminated at night thanks to their dead residents.


To be fair, there are some awesome historical precedents for this sort of thing.
(Image courtesy callumgv.tumblr.com.)

Thanks to a design contest hosted by The University of Bath's Centre for Death and Society, DeathLAB's "Sylvan Constellation" became a bright idea for buried biomass.  The decomposing human flesh could interact with microbial fuel cells, which would in turn power a light unique to each grave site.


There has got to be some way to get a ghost-shaped one.
(Image courtesy eurekalert.com.)

These "mourning lights" could extend further than simply cemeteries, and could eventually become part of urban infrastructure.  Many cities already rest on piles of dead bodies, why not make the ones sure to follow more useful?

DeathLAB's founder and director, Karla Rothstein, stated, "Our goal is to offer elegant options at death that are commensurate with the social and environmental values we respect while alive. Our proposal aims to secure civic space for the future metropolis, allowing one's last impactful act to gracefully and responsibly celebrate the vitality of life."


"Commensurate with the social and environmental values we respect while alive," indeed.
(Image courtesy reddit.com.)

The researchers will use their £5,000 prize money (~$7246) to help fund their continued efforts at creating a prototype. They will undertake a month-long residency at Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol, UK this summer, where director Dr. John Troyer is enthusiastic to host them and make magnificent the morbid and macabre.

“By working together on this project, collaborators will establish networks for longer-term projects involving innovative, sustainable design around end-of-life planning," Troyer told the University of Bath's paper. “This is an exciting time to be working on design projects that fully embrace topics like death, dying, and dead bodies and I very much look forward to seeing collaborations like this develop."

What an interesting light for the end of the tunnel.

As for the living, we might still try to shine, just in other ways.
If not, though, there's mourning lights.
(Image courtesy pinterest.com.)


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