Inventor/Artist Jae Rhim Lee is attempting to breed flesh-eating mushrooms designed to make the burial process greener. The curiously named Infinity Burial Project seeks to grow what Lee is calling an "Infinity Mushroom," a mushroom that cleans toxins from the soil while eating human flesh.
According to Lee, formaldehyde, one of the main chemicals used in embalming, has been upgraded by the U.S. government to a known carcinogen (it causes cancer). Preventing a cancer-causing agent from seeping into the soil and getting people more comfortable with the idea of their own mortality is what the Infinity Burial Project is all about.
Lee is still trying to figure out which mushrooms will clean the soil best and take to human flesh quickest, with the early front-runners being shiitake and oyster mushrooms. There is no timetable on when the project will be complete, although the artist has fielded more than a few inquiries from folks willing to donate their bodies to the mushrooms. You can check out Lee in her flesh-eating mushroom suit here.
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