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Death on Mars October 8, 2016

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Was reading a piece yesterday on “What Happens if Someone Dies on Mars”. Just fascinating how our ways of burial and cremation won’t be suitable on Mars but will need some other way of body disposal.

If left out on the Martian surface, a human body would last a very, very long time. On Earth, post-death destruction starts with decomposers, which move in fast and start using organic matter to fuel their own little lives. Mars has no biology, that we know of.

In the immediate aftermath of death, a body would still start to decompose there: the bacteria inside, transplanted from Earth, would go to work. If a dead body was left outside at the Martian equator, where temperatures sometimes reach pleasant-enough highs during the day, this could go on for a few hours. Without an insulating atmosphere, though, the planet cools quickly, and even balmy Martian nights are as cold as polar nights here. The body would freeze, stopping the work of the bacteria, and begin the slow, dry process of mummifying.


1. gendjinn - October 8, 2016



WorldbyStorm - October 8, 2016

It’s a genuinely interesting problem.


gendjinn - October 8, 2016

In a closed ecosystem, which is what we will have post-earth for several centuries at least, composting is the only solution. You can’t be having 200lbs of organic material exiting the system.

Take Hugh Howey’s Silo series as another example.


2. Gewerkschaftler - October 8, 2016

I think this principle was used by some of the Andean peoples who would mummify their dead and bury them in giant pots at the top of mountains.

Or I could have dreamt that.


gendjinn - October 9, 2016

I believe those were ritual burials like the Ice Princess in Arequippa, not the normal burial procedure. But we could be talking about completely different time periods.


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