Login

Plastic-wrapped corpses are a grave hazard for Norway's cemeteries

Photo

There is simply nothing more irksome than a corpse that won't decompose. Especially for Norwegian funeral directors, who are now dealing with a rather macabre predicament: thousands of plastic-wrapped dead bodies that are occupying precious real estate in the country's graveyards.

Over a 30-year period following World War II, Norway wrapped dead bodies in plastic before burying them. But the country also frequently reuses grave sites in an effort to save space — and corpses shrouded in plastic don't readily decompose. Since laws prevent plastic-wrapped bodies from being disturbed, the phenomenon has led to overcrowded cemeteries with little room for expansion. As The Wall Street Journal explains, desperate local officials are now relying on a chemical elixir that catalyzes decomposition while keeping graves intact. "You may say," one noted, "[that] wrapping people in plastic was the result of some pretty poor planning." Indeed.

The Verge
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.