Ashes To Ashes: Here’s What Happens When Your Body Is Cremated


Nobody likes to think or talk about it, however everyone dies eventually.

Though before you depart, you’re tasked with planning your funeral arrangements, and most significantly, deciding what to do with your body.

What do we really know about being cremated?; Photo: Gifbin

While many folks opt to be buried in a casket six feet under, others wish to be cremated and have their ashes spread out someplace.

What do we know about cremation though? Well, the majority of us solely know that our bodies just get tossed into an incinerator.

“There are so many myths about what happens at a crematorium,” Louise Singer, crematorium manager, told reporters.

“People think we resell the coffins or mix the ashes so today is to show we are transparent and we care. We just want to reassure them through the process.”

The Preparation

The furnace becomes so hot during the cremation process that if operated it on Friday, it will still be 572 degrees °F on the following Monday!; Photo: Giphy

Crematoriums have up to 3 days to incinerate a body. However, they strive to do so in under 24 hours.

Their first step is to make sure nothing has been left in the coffin, and to check the deceased didn’t own a pacemaker. Should one be placed into the incinerator, it would ignite an explosion in the furnace and then hoist the 44,000+ pound incinerator 7 inches into the air.

The Cremation

Once the ashes are a sand-like texture, they are raked and left to cool for 60 minutes; Photo: The Dark Knight

The body is then rolled towards one of two machines.

The first includes a gas-fueled flame, that elevates the temperature to between 800-1,000 degrees celsius. It is so hot, that if operated it on Friday, it will still be 572 degrees °F on the following Monday!

The process ordinarily takes 90 minutes, and the staff has to use a ‘spy’ hole to see if there are any visible flames left, which dictates if the process is done.

Throughout the cremation, the waste particles recovered from the incinerator are “sucked away and filtered to stop mercury from teeth fillings getting in to the atmosphere.”

The Result

Would YOU want to be cremated?; Photo: 8 Mile

Once the ashes hold a sand-like texture, they are raked and left to cool for 60 minutes.

The total weight of the ashes differs depending on the body’s bone density, but is typically the same as the individual’s birth weight.

Ashes are then placed into another machine that sifts out any hip replacements or jewelry, which are then recycled, with the profits donated to charity.

Upon the return of the deceased’s relatives, the crematorium offers them the choice to either take the ashes with them, or leave them there.


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