Is this the most magic mushroom of all? The fungus behind the living coffin

New invention hailed as the future of burial, writes Lauren Razavi

Tuesday 22 September 2020 16:29 BST
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The sustainable coffin is made from the mushroom fibre mycelium
The sustainable coffin is made from the mushroom fibre mycelium

The past week has been a wild ride for Bob Hendrikx. Last Monday, the Delft University of Technology sent out a press release outlining what the millennial Dutch bio designer had been working on, mostly in secret, for the best part of a year. When news of his invention broke, it quickly went viral. Over a few days, he’s appeared on television stations and made headlines worldwide.

Hendrikx, 26, is the creator of the “Living Cocoon”, a sustainable coffin made from the mushroom fibre mycelium. The magic mushroom, dubbed “nature’s recycler”, helps turn corpses into compost.

“Mycelium looks for waste materials constantly and converts them into nutrients for the environment,” Hendrikx explains. “It even removes toxic substances like oil, plastic and metal from the soil and helps with the natural processes of decomposition. It also connects everything underground, so you can think of it like nature’s internet.”

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