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Funeral Options: 5 Alternatives To The Traditional Casket

The Huffington Post   Evan Allis   First Posted: 10/21/11 11:14 AM ET   Updated: 12/21/11 05:12 AM ET

In the song "Black Jesus," Tupac Shakur says: "My last wishes n**gas, smoke my ashes."

Whether the line articulates the late rapper's final wishes is up for debate; whether the line articulates how he ended up is not: two of his friends mixed his ashes with marijuana and smoked it.

But as strange as Shakur's final resting place in the brains of his two buddies may sound to some, the number of people pursuing alternatives to the oak coffin or ceramic urn is rising at an astounding rate. How does being turned into a piece of jewelry when you die sound? Perhaps knowing your corpse will rest in peace far beyond earth's atmosphere is more to your liking?

Whether you're looking for the perfect way to go out with a bang, or if you're just looking for some mindless entertainment, check out these top 5 alternatives to the traditional casket:

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  • Diamonds Are Forever

    The pan-European company Algordanza will convert the ashes of dead loved ones into fake diamonds for a few thousand dollars. Accessorizing yourself with the remains of your dead husband? Can you say glamorous!

  • To Infinity And Beyond

    Star Trek star James Doohan and LSD guru Timothy Leary had their ashes attached to a rocket and shot off into space at a cost of $10,000. It would seem the idea here is 'heaven or bust.'

  • A Tribute Fit For A Tree-Hugger

    Biodegradable urns are designed for cremated remains and made out of compacted coconut shells mixed with a layer of organic fertilizer. Inside the mixture is a seed that will germinate upon burial of the urn and grow into a tree. Of course, your remains are more nutrient rich if they're not cremated.

  • Rock N Roll Keel Over

    The British company And Vinyly will process the ashes of the deceased into a working vinyl record. The simplest version costs $3,100 and will get you 30 vinyl copies of the deceased's favorite album...with them mixed in. Is a <em>Frampton Comes Alive</em> joke too easy here?

  • A Stony Sendoff

    In Thailand, a new drug concoction combining the ashes of the deceased and the cooked leaves of the Kratom tree is gaining in popularity. It's called "Tai Hong," and, in addition to leaving the smoker in a heightened state of consciousness, supposedly has an exquisite taste. "Tai Hong": say goodbye and ease the pain all at the same time!

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