Natural burials are becoming more and more common, and there are also several things you can do with cremated remains, including turning them into diamonds, mixing them in with corals, and even pressing ashes into vinyl records.
A Kentucky-based company called Mesoloft has come up with a new idea for cremated remains. The company recently started offering a service where the ashes of your loved one will be taken into the stratosphere and then scattered to return to Earth as snow or rain.
Chris Winfield, co-founder of Mesoloft, explained the process to CNET.
“We know that the ashes will likely travel for months and possibly years as they get carried by the currents in the upper atmosphere. The ashes will eventually descend and settle all around the globe. Moisture adheres to ashes that pass through clouds and the ash will form the nucleus of a raindrop or snowflake. I love the story, it’s so poetic!”
The ashes are placed in a special container that has a door. The container is then attached to a weather balloon, along with two GoPro cameras to capture the flight. A GPS trigger is then used to release the ashes into the stratosphere at a height of about 20 miles above the Earth’s surface.
Winfield explained that he and his two other partners were inspired by dust from the Sahara desert traveling the globe. Their idea has been around for five years, and it took a lot of research and experimentation to get it done right, according to The Huffington Post.
“We did about 10 test flights using ashes – not the human kind. At first, we had trouble getting the GoPro cameras to work in extreme conditions. Then it was figuring out the right amount of helium. The last few went off without a hitch so we thought it was time to take it to consumers.”
Mesoloft is offering the service starting at $2,800 dollars inclusive of the flight video. The price can go as high as $7,500 for the “destination funeral.”
According to Winfield, the balloon carrying the container will stay in the air for a couple of hours. So far, only two customers have availed of the service, but the founders of the company are hoping that more will be interested when they learn how far their ashes may travel.
“Sand from dust storms in the Sahara desert has been traced in California, so we’re confident when we say these ashes might go around the world.”
This is just one unique way to have a funeral. In a report by Inquisitr, a funeral home in Michigan is offering drive-thru viewing, where mourners can view the deceased through a drive-thru window.
[Image via Gizmodo/Mesoloft]