If you watched the all-new, Charlie Sheen-less Two and a Half Men Monday night, you caught a gag in which the recently dead Charlie's ashes are accidentally tossed all over the place. The kind of thing you only see in a sitcom? Perhaps, but nevertheless, it served to underscore what a dusty mess cremains really are. But now there's an alternative: liquefaction!
NBC News reports on a "body liquefier" now legal in seven states. The process is called resomation, and it works by "submerging the body in a solution of water and potassium hydroxide, which is then pressurised and heated to 180C for two-and-a-half to three hours." Essentially, you're bidding adieu, sous vide.
What you get back is a "small quantity of green-brown tinted liquid containing amino acids, peptides, sugars and salts." It's environmentally safe enough to be returned back to the ecosystem — say in a memorial garden or drainage sewer — or perhaps used as a waffle topping.
Here's a video report that may clear up some of your questions on resomation:
[NBC News via Daily Mail, screengrab via NBC News]