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Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Will we eventually run out of space to bury our dead?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11431points) April 6th, 2010

The Earth is a finite space.
Humans will continue to reproduce. Mathematically speaking could we conceivably run out of places to bury dead people since we keep producing them?

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27 Answers

thriftymaid's avatar

Yes, if alternatives weren’t available and becoming prevalent more and more.

Steve_A's avatar


Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Good answer Steve but many people refuse cremation for religious reasons.

dpworkin's avatar

Dead people take up less and less room as time goes by.

jaytkay's avatar

I live in a big city and cemeteries are pretty rare. We have a lot more acreage devoted to parks and forests than cemeteries. And think of Hong Kong, Tokyo or Mexico City – they are managing OK.

DarkScribe's avatar

It has already been suggested that we begin burying people standing up. But no, there is no lack of space, but there is a lack of “urban” space. If we don’t want to drive into the country to pay respects – then yes, there is a problem.

Steve_A's avatar

I suppose this would of course become a real issue if we do keep expanding it does only seem logical to run out of space for human needs like this.

If we were to get to that point the only thing I can think is there would be some kind of law later put in to keep it in check and other means would be enforced. I mean you would to have to do something about it if indeed we ever reach a point where we do not even have enough land for burying the dead.

But I would imagine more the other way around first before dead people…...not enough room for living people wouldn’t you say? That I would hate to even imagine…..

Oh and yes another solution zombies! quickly get the T-virus!!! :)

ChaosCross's avatar

Dead people decompose don’t they? They become soil along with their coffins over time and the space is then reusable.

Or we could all just stop killing each other.

Steve_A's avatar

@ChaosCross Good point,but you can not just remove the grave yard, tombstone and/or casket can you?

I am curious now how current laws would work with this, who has the say in it? Because people buy the tombstones correct?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Well, we might, if we were going to bury them all.

Don’t forget, Soylent Green is people!

john65pennington's avatar

Why do you think America wanted to be first on the moon?

Answer: looking for future burial plots.

Steve_A's avatar

@john65pennington Blah just send’em the into the black hole!~~

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I think there’s a wormhole off Bermuda where we can stuff them. The problem is that they end up in strange hotel rooms around the galaxy… in the form of human spaghetti. It’s somewhat upsetting to most of the people who encounter them… but some scary worlds have placed orders for more.

bobloblaw's avatar

We won’t run out of space due to decay. Yesterday’s cemeteries will become tomorrow’s arable land.

Coloma's avatar

There are already more corpses in the ground than there are living.

Cremation will be my choice.

Besides I think it is controlling from beyond the grave to expect to have some memorial of yourself tended to for eternity. Talk about self absorbed. lol

Vinifera7's avatar

I intend to offer my corpse as a donation to science. After that they are free to cremate it.

DarkScribe's avatar

A few years back there was a craze to turn a diseased person into a Diamond. We would never run out of space for diamonds.


Steve_A's avatar

@DarkScribe I knew my family was worth something haha

davidbetterman's avatar

We should shoot them into outer space with our nuclear waste.

JeffVader's avatar

Technically, yes, you’re right. However, everything will be fine once the ‘Death Cannon’ is up & running.

Pandora's avatar

Some cemetaries are sold and the bodies are removed. It happened, where my dad was buried because the land kept suffering from severe flooding. When they went to relocate the peoples bodies the bones were either transfered to a family crypt or cremated and returned to the family. The new location they were transfered too only had crypts that was for several bodies or did cremations.
In some countries cremation is the main choice because of lack of property.
Eventually everyone turns to dust.

mattbrowne's avatar

We’d run out of food first. There are plenty of deserts on our planet which could be used as cemeteries.

Drawkward's avatar

Maybe if we started to take care of our dead in a way that makes less waste rather than the ridiculous way we treat our dead now.

jaytkay's avatar

@Coloma There are already more corpses in the ground than there are living.

Good point.MANY more dead than living.

I believed the opposite for many years, but there have been an estimated 100+ billion Homo Sapiens. And only 6.8 billion are alive.

MarcoNJ's avatar

We’ve had this discussion at work a while back. And I wondered the same as you @Captain_Fantasy

My suggestion was to recycle cemetery plots after 100 years. I mean, after that amount of time….pretty much everyone who’s ever known you will be dead as well.

Coloma's avatar


Yes, I discovered that fact some years ago too.

I live on property that once was home to the Miwok tribe, I am sure I have indians and pioneers, 49ers, buried on my property somewhere. lol

stephshield86's avatar

who will donate their bodies to art?

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