A Dutch start-up has created a biodegradable "living coffin" made of a fungus, instead of wood, which it says can convert a decomposing human body into key nutrients for plants.
The company, Loop, says its casket is made of mycelium, the underground root structure of mushrooms, and filled with a bed of moss to stimulate decomposition.
Mycelium also devours toxins and turns them into nutrients.
The coffin is grown like a plant within the space of a week at the company's lab at the Technical University of Delft by mixing mycelium with wood chips in the mold of a coffin.
After the mycelium has grown through the wood chips, the coffin is dried and has enough strength to carry a weight of up to 440 lbs.
Once buried, interaction with ground water will dissolve the coffin within 30 to 45 days.
Decomposition of the body is estimated to take only 2 to 3 years, instead of the 10 to 20 years it takes with traditional coffins.
Loop has so far grown and sold 10 living coffins for $1,700 a piece.