The prospect of being buried alive has long terrified people. So much so that provisions have been placed in wills requiring waiting periods, entombment in unlocked crypts, etc.

Some inventor actually applied for a patent for what was called a “device for indicating life in buried persons.”

The buried person simply needed to rotate a lever with his hands, which would trigger an above-ground signal.



Signalling the living about such an unfortunate mistake would be easier today thanks to the advent of cell phone technology. People who are worried could simply ask that they be buried with their mobile devices, which could be left on until the battery died. (Unlikely that a person would be buried alive and unconscious that long, but I guess there is a slight risk.)

Two excellent practical ways to avoid being buried alive are embalming and cremation. It is impossible for anyone to survive embalming, because the blood is drained and replaced with a formaldehyde-based preservative.

And of course no one survives cremation, but cremation alive would not be fun. (Rare, but it could happen.)

I think I’ll go the embalming route. After that, I don’t think I’d need a cell phone.