Frazer Blog

Mythbusting: Death and Dying Style

by | May 24, 2016 | For Families

A man's silhouette in front of a sunset

When it comes to death and dying, myths are everywhere regarding what happens after you die. Let’s debunk a few!

Six Feet Under

Back when the plague was running rampant, the mayor of London decreed that bodies be buried six feet underground so as to avoid any further spread of the disease. But in the modern-day United States, most graves are as shallow as four feet, depending on the state laws.

The only time someone is buried six feet under is if the grave is double depth, and two people (such as spouses) are buried in the same plot. Only certain cemeteries will do this.

Nails and Hair Growth

Some believe that after you die, your hair and nails continue to grow. This myth actually began because people observed hair and nails appearing to grow on the dead, but what they were really seeing was the skin dehydrating, leaving more hair and nails exposed.

Hair and nail growth requires glucose, which our bodies get from food. After you die, there is no more food, no more glucose, and no more cell growth.

Cremation Turns You to Ash

Many believe that when a body is cremated, it creates the ashes that we commonly see put in urns, turned into jewelry, or scattered in a favorite place. But cremation actually just burns away the soft tissue, exposing nothing but the bones of the deceased.

It is from these bones that “ashes” are created, and it’s typically a denser consistency than the ashes we see from a campfire or fireplace.

Ashes Can Go Anywhere

Though many places you spread ashes in have more of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, there are some locations that ask you to obtain a permit beforehand. And while this may be the last thing you want to think about when you are finding the final resting place for your loved one, it’s important.

Most of these laws are in place so that if any remains are found, they are not linked to a crime or believed to be a missing person.

What other funeral-related myths have you heard? Share them with us in the comments!

1 Comment

  1. Lee

    A very interesting read, i was surprised to know that some locations you need to obtain a permit to scatter ashes?
    Potentially this could get the person in to trouble if they did not abide?
    On the other hand you could always obtain cremation jewellery like on my site to take your loved ones ashes with you
    Keep up the good work.


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