September 14, 2020

September 12, 2020 - For the first time this weekend a woman was buried in a box made of hyphae. "The end of life is thus the beginning of new life." The living coffin is not heavy. Weight varies. The box consists of mycelium, the root network of mushrooms, so each one is unique.Bob Hendrikx (26 - student at the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands) - specializes in bio design. For the first time someone is buried in his 'Loop Cocoon.' Under the lid of the prototype, at the bottom of the box, lies a springy layer of moss. The box, which looks a bit like Styrofoam or marble, feels warmer and softer than it appears.
“This is mycelium,” says Hendrikx. The fungus on the outside is the fruit of the fungus. We see a network of fungal threads that feed on organic remains of trees and plants and can also neutralize toxic substances. In addition, mycelium brings plants into contact with each other. Connecting like the Internet.

In a wooden box-shaped mold, he explains, we insert food - hay or hemp, for example. You add the fungus - Ganoderma lucidum, a non-damaging strain - and a little water every now and then. In a few days’ time a three-dimensional network grows that acts like a natural glue. When the mold is filled with mycelium, the growth process is paused by not adding any more nutrients. "Within a week you will have a solid box that, as soon as it is buried, breaks down quickly and stimulates the digestion of the body." Mycelium acts as an accelerator for bacteria and can neutralize waste products in the body. Soil pollution is an important theme in the funeral industry.

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