Burial at sea

Burial at sea is the disposal of human remains in the ocean, normally from a ship or boat. It is regularly performed by navies, and is done by private citizens in many countries.

US Navy 110409-N-0074G-026 Sailors aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65) prepare to cast ashes overboard during a burial at sea
Burial at sea ceremony for cremated remains, on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, April 2011

Burial-at-sea services are conducted at many different locations and with many different customs, either by ship or by aircraft. Usually, either the captain of the ship or aircraft or a religious representative (of the decedent's religion or the state religion) performs the ceremony.

The ceremony may include burial in a casket, burial sewn in sailcloth, burial in an urn, or scattering of the cremated remains from a ship. Burial at sea by aircraft is usually done only with cremated remains. Other types of burial at sea include the mixing of the ashes with concrete and dropping the concrete block to form an artificial reef such as the Atlantis Reef.

Below is a list of religions that allow burial at sea, with some details of the burial.

Sea burial
Burial at sea for two casualties of a Japanese submarine attack on the US aircraft carrier USS Liscome Bay, November 1943

By religion


There are very few traditional Buddhist burials at sea. Traditionally, the deceased are cremated and the ashes are placed in a grave or columbarium. Particularly in East Asian or Mahayana Buddhism, a physical gravesite is considered important for the conduct of memorial and ancestor rites. The Buddhist Churches of America, the North American branch of Japanese Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, has created a service for Buddhist burials at sea, primarily for military service members. In Thailand ashes are generally placed in a wreath with lit candles and floated off to sea from a vessel followed by a procession of mourning wreaths, with lit candles also.



Officially, the Roman Catholic Church prefers normal casket burials over cremations, but does allow for cremation subject to the condition that the ashes are entombed or buried. Catholics believe it is not proper to scatter or pour the cremated remains over the sea, water, or on the land. According to the Roman Catholic Church this action does not give due respect to the remains of the deceased, nor does it allow for the closure and healing of family and friends. Likewise they see that the custom of housing the remains with family or friends and not placing the deceased in the ground does not offer loved ones a specific and sacred place to visit the individual. Visiting the deceased in a holy place provides believers with a space to offer prayers, commune with those who have gone before them in faith, and reminds them to await the resurrection of their own bodies. Burial at sea in a casket or in an urn is approved for cases where the deceased expired in the sea. The committal prayer number 406§4 is used in this case.[1]


The Anglican Communion has detailed procedures for burial at sea. The ship has to be stopped, and the body has to be sewn in canvas, suitably weighted. Anglican (and other) chaplains of the Royal Navy bury cremated remains of ex-Naval personnel at sea. Scattering of cremated remains is discouraged, not least for practical reasons

The Book of Common Prayer (1928) of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA), a member of the Anglican Communion provides a specific prayer of committal for burials at sea:

At the Burial of the Dead at Sea. The same Office may be used; but instead of the Sentence of Committal, the Minister shall say:

Unto Almighty God we commend the soul of our brother departed, and we commit his body to the deep; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection unto eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; at whose coming in glorious majesty to judge the world, the sea shall give up her dead; and the corruptible bodies of those who sleep in him shall be changed, and made like unto his glorious body; according to the mighty working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself.[2]

Many Lutheran naval veterans and seamen prefer to be buried at sea. In those cases either the casket or urn is set to sea, or ashes scattered. The procedure is similar as that with the Anglican church. Some parishes have specific consecrated sea areas where ashes can be sprinkled.


Traditionally, the deceased are cremated, the bones and ashes are collected, and the ashes/remains are immersed in the Ganges River if possible or in any other river if not.


The sacred texts of Islam prefer burial on land, "so deep that its smell does not come out and the beasts of prey do not dig it out". However, if a person dies at sea and it is not possible to bring the body back to land before decay, or if burial at land becomes impossible, burial at sea is allowed. A weight is tied to the feet of the body, and the body is lowered into the water. This would preferably occur in an area where the remains are not immediately eaten by scavengers.

In the Sunni Fiqh book Umdat al-Salik wa Uddat al-Nasik, the condition for sea burial is:

It is best to bury him (the deceased) in the cemetery ... If someone dies on a ship and it is impossible to bury him on land, the body is placed (O: tightly lashed) between two planks (O: to obviate bloating) and thrown into the sea (O: so that it reaches shore, even if the inhabitants are non-Muslims, since a Muslim might find the body and bury it facing the direction of prayer (qibla)).[3]


According to Jewish law, a dead person must be quickly buried and burial requires covering in earth.[4] This law is derived from Devarim (Deuteronomy) 21:23 "Bury, you will bury him the same day; for the (unburied body) is a curse to God" the double command to bury causing a positive commandment to entomb in the earth and a negative commandment forbidding leaving an unburied body. The legal text Shulchan Aruch brings a case example explaining that even if a person is known to have drowned in a closed body of water such as a small pond where there can be certainty that the victim had not somehow survived, the family does not begin ritual mourning and remains in extended state of most intense mourning aninut until either the body is found or after an exhaustive search despairs of recovering and burying the body.[5] This shows that the body is considered unburied when underwater; as shiva mourning normally only begins after burial. B'resheit(Genesis) 3:19 states "With the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground, from (dust) you were taken and you are dust, and to dust you will return." From this we see that the only proper treatment of a dead body is to physically cover it with earth once land is available for the crew to bury the body, rather than to leave the body at sea or some other fate such as cremation.

If for some reason the body of someone deceased aboard a ship causes an immediate life threat to those aboard the vessel the commandment to protect innocent life or pikuach nefesh overrides nearly all commandments including the command to bury the dead, as any appropriate actions to ensure safety of surviving crew are required to be taken which may include jettisoning a body at sea without burial. However, attempts would later be made to recover and bury when possible without life hazard.[6]

An example of the desire to bury a body in the ground even after it has been long dead at sea, is that of the Israeli submarine Dakar which was lost with no survivors in 1968 but was only discovered in 1999 lying broken at a depth of 3,000 meters. Search and recovery of any potentially existing remains at this very difficult to access depth has not shown results despite requests from family and the Chief Rabbi of the IDF.[7][8][9] In another case Jewish rabbis, after finding of the remains of Holocaust victims using a new penetrating sonar technology, called for a proper Jewish burial claiming that many of these martyrs were adherent to traditional Jewish law themselves and would insist on being removed from a river, where Nazis had dumped them en masse, to rest in a proper in-earth Jewish burial.[10]

By country


Burial at sea within Australian territorial waters, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf is covered by the Environmental Protection (Sea Dumping Act) 1981 administered by the federal Department of the Environment. A permit is required for burial of bodies at sea. Permits are usually only granted in cases of a strong connection to the sea, such as long-serving navy personnel. The body must not be embalmed or placed in a casket, it may only be sewn into a weighted shroud. The burial must be in water deeper than 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) and not interfere with shipping, fishing or undersea communications. Australian Defence Force vessels engaged in armed conflicts or emergency situations are exempt from these requirements.[11]

No permit is required to scatter ashes at sea.

United Kingdom

Burial at sea was a method hypothetically suggested by the then Medical Officer of Health for Liverpool, Dr Duncan Dolton, in which unburied bodies could be buried at sea during any extended strike by gravediggers union the GMWU during the 1978–79 Winter of Discontent. The suggestion caused great alarm amongst the public and helped prompt a resolution to the strike. British colonial burials at sea of the 18th and 19th century involved wrapping the deceased in sailcloth weighted with cannonballs.

In England, cremated remains may be scattered freely at sea but a burial must be made in a coffin meeting regulatory requirements and in one of three locations: off The Needles, Isle of Wight; between Hastings and Newhaven; and off Tynemouth, North Tyneside. Permission may be sought for another burial site.[12] Some funeral directors will arrange the event. Charity organisation the Maritime Volunteer Service also helps carry out burials at sea.[13]

In Scotland, there are two designated sites for burial at sea. These are 210 miles due west of Oban and 15 miles west of John O'Groats.[14]

United States

A funeral director is not required for the burial of cremated remains at sea. However, full body burials require specific preparation to ensure the body or coffin sinks quickly, and in many states a licensed funeral director is required.[15] The Environmental Protection Agency regulations for full body burials at sea in the United States require that the site of interment be 3 nautical miles (5.6 km; 3.5 mi) from land and at a depth of at least 600 feet (180 m). California prohibits whole body burial within its state-asserted three-mile limit. Off the eastern coast of the United States, the closest sufficient depths are off Long Island (75 miles/121 km), Ocracoke (20 miles/32 km), and Miami (5 miles/8.0 km). This may require travel in excess of 30 miles (48 km) for a suitable site.[16]

Departing from the New England area requires a voyage of about 45 miles to reach the required 600 ft ocean depth.[15] Sufficient depth is within 10 miles or less at many harbors along the U.S. west coast, including San Diego, Santa Barbara, Monterey, Fort Bragg, Eureka, and Crescent City, all in California.[17] The United States Navy inters intact remains from Norfolk and San Diego only.[18] The United States Navy requires a metal casket for intact remains, but full body burial in a suitably weighted shroud is also legal.[15]

The United States is similar to many countries which permit the spreading of cremation ashes within their Exclusive Economic zone: when spreading ashes from a ship which is registered in a different country, the regulations and reporting procedures for the ship's flag state need to be complied with once the vessel is in international waters, that is, outside 12 nautical miles. Ships follow the London convention principles, as opposed to MARPOL regulations, as the ash is intentionally taken on board for discharge at sea, as opposed to ash generated on passage from the ship's incinerators. It should be further considered that on 1 January 2013, MARPOL Annex V came into force, which prevents discharge of a ship's incinerator ash.

United States Navy

Neil Armstrong burial at sea (201209140008HQ)
The burial at sea of U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, performed by the U.S. Navy on USS Philippine Sea in the Atlantic Ocean on September 14, 2012

The United States Navy has performed many burials at sea in its history, with wartime burials as recently as World War II, and peacetime burials still common. Enemy deaths received the same ceremony as Americans or allies. Most other armed forces also perform burials at sea, such as the British Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy.

If the deceased died on land or has been returned to shore after death, the remains may be brought aboard either in a coffin or in an urn after cremation. The ceremony is performed while the ship is deployed, and consequently civilians are not allowed to be present. In the US, people eligible for a free Navy burial at sea are:

  • Active-duty members of the uniformed services
  • Retirees and honorably discharged veterans
  • Military Sealift Command U.S. civilian marine personnel
  • Family members of the above

In preparation, the officer of the deck calls All hands bury the dead, and the ship is stopped (if possible). The ship's flags are lowered to half mast. The ship's crew, including a firing party, casket bearers and a bugler, are assembled on the deck. The crew stands at parade rest at the beginning of the ceremony. The coffin is covered with a flag, and is carried feet first on deck by the casket bearers. The casket is placed on a stand, with the feet overboard. In case of cremated remains, the urn is brought on deck and placed on a stand.

The ceremony is divided into a military portion and a religious portion. The religious part is specific to the religion of the deceased, and may be performed by a Navy chaplain, or by the commanding officer if no chaplain of the appropriate faith is available. A scripture is read and prayers are said.

After the religious ceremony, the firing party is ordered "Firing party, present arms". The casket bearers tilt the platform with the casket, so that the casket slides off the platform into the ocean. The flag which was draped over the casket is retained on board. For cremated remains, there is the option to bury the remains using the urn in a similar fashion to the procedure used for caskets. Alternatively, the urn can be opened, and the remains scattered in the wind. In this case, the wind direction has to be taken under consideration before burial to ensure a smooth procedure.

The firing party fires a three volley salute, the bugler plays Taps, and flowers may also be dropped into the ocean. After the flag is folded, the ceremony ends. The relatives are informed of the time and location of the burial, and given photos and video recordings if available.

Wartime burial at sea

BurialAtSea USS Intrepid1944
Burial at sea for the casualties of USS Intrepid, hit by Japanese bombs during operations in the Philippines, November 26, 1944
USS Ohio firing detail
Navy firing detail as part of a burial at sea in 2008 for one of the 316 survivors of the sinking of USS Indianapolis on July 30, 1945, during World War II
Burial at sea Feb2004
Burial at sea on USS Enterprise, May 19, 2004
US Navy 030501-N-6141B-022 Officers ^ sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75)
Cremated remains at sea on USS Donald Cook, May 1, 2003

In wartime, attempts are made for burial at sea to follow the same procedure as for peacetime burial at sea, although a ship on a combat mission may not have all the necessary resources available. Nowadays, it is usually possible to airlift the remains back to shore, and prepare a burial ceremony on land. However, as recently as the Falklands War, deceased were buried at sea without returning to land. Due to the limited facilities of military ships, this procedure usually does not include a casket, but the body is sewn into a sailcloth with weights, usually rocks or cannonballs. Cremation is usually not possible on a ship. During the Pacific campaign there was at least one instance where a member of an aircrew was buried at sea in his damaged aircraft, which was ceremonially pushed overboard from an aircraft carrier.[19][20]

Memorial services at sea

If no remains of the deceased are available a memorial service may be held, and flowers may be dropped in the water, often over or near the location of the death.

People buried at sea

A few notable burials at sea:

See also


  1. ^ [1] Accessed December 11, 2017
  2. ^ Book of Common Prayer (1928), p. 337 [The Church Pension Fund]
  3. ^ Reliance of the Traveller, Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, p 237, Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Amanah publications, ISBN 0-915957-72-8
  4. ^ Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 362:1.
  5. ^ Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 375:7
  6. ^ Leviticus 18:5 "אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם הָאָדָם וָחַי בָּהֶם"
  7. ^ "Israel tries again to solve mystery of sub lost in '68". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  8. ^ Guttman, Nathan (2 February 2003). "NASA Says Remains of All 7 Astronauts Recovered, Then Retracts". Retrieved 5 April 2018 – via Haaretz.
  9. ^ Bochner, Uri Dotan. "Search and Discovery of the Israeli Submarine Dakar". submarines.dotan.net. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  10. ^ https://jewishstandard.timesofisrael.com/in-hungary-a-jewish-community-fight-taints-effort-to-bury-holocaust-victims/
  11. ^ "Environmental Protection (Sea Dumping Act) 1981". Australian Government.
  12. ^ "Burial at sea". Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Burial at sea: Seven things you might not know". Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Burials at Sea". Scottish Government. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  15. ^ a b c "New England Burials at Sea - Ash Scatterings at sea - Full Body Sea Burials - Eco Friendly Sea Burials- Burial Shrouds - USCG Licensed Captain - Burials at sea - Sea Burials". www.newenglandburialsatsea.com. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Federal Register, Volume 40, Section 229.1".
  17. ^ Google Earth bathymetry
  18. ^ staff, US Navy web. "The U.S. Navy". www.navy.mil. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  19. ^ "In memory of Loyce Edward Deen USNR WW II, (1921 - 1944) and all who served aboard the USS Essex".
  20. ^ "U.S. Navy TBF Avenger gunner from USS Essex is buried at sea with his aircraft during World War II". Criticalpast. 5 November 1944.
  21. ^ "Heinlein Society". www.heinleinsociety.org. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  22. ^ "Sir Edmund Hillary takes final voyage, ashes scattered at sea". The New Zealand Herald. 29 February 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  23. ^ "Osama bin Laden's body buried at sea". 2 May 2011.
  24. ^ "Yahoo report". yahoo.com. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  25. ^ Osama Bin Laden Body Headed for Burial at Sea, Officials Say - The Note Archived 2011-05-02 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ "Neil Armstrong's remains committed to the sea". CNN. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  27. ^ Phillips, Tom (15 July 2017). "Liu Xiaobo: dissident's friends angry after hastily arranged sea burial". the Guardian. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
A Burial at Sea

A Burial at Sea, by Charles Finch, is a set aboard a Royal Navy vessel in 1873 and in Egypt during the Victorian era. It is the fifth novel in the Charles Lenox series.

Battle of San Juan (1595)

The Battle of San Juan (1595) was a Spanish victory during the Anglo–Spanish War. This war broke out in 1585 and was fought not only in the European theatre but in Spain's American colonies.

After emerging from six years of disgrace following the resounding defeat of the English Armada at Lisbon in 1589, Francis Drake embarked on a long and disastrous campaign against Hispanic America, suffering several consecutive defeats there. On 22 November 1595 Drake and John Hawkins tried to invade San Juan with 27 ships and 2,500 men. After failing to be able to land at the Ensenada del Escambron on the eastern end of San Juan Islet, he attempted to sail into San Juan Bay with the intention of sacking the city. Unable to capture the island, following the death of his comrade, John Hawkins, Drake abandoned San Juan, and set sail for Panama where he died from disease and received a burial at sea after failing to establish an English settlement in America.

BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games. It was released worldwide for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and OS X platforms in 2013, and a Linux port was released in 2015. Infinite is the third installment in the BioShock series, and though it is not immediately part of the storyline of previous BioShock games, it features similar gameplay concepts and themes. Irrational Games and creative director Ken Levine based the game's setting on historical events at the turn of the 20th century, such as the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, and based the story on the concept of American exceptionalism, while also incorporating influences from more recent events at the time such as the 2011 Occupy movement.

The game is set in the year 1912 and follows its protagonist, former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, who is sent to the airborne city of Columbia to find a young woman, Elizabeth, who has been held captive there for most of her life. Though Booker rescues Elizabeth, the two become involved with the city's warring factions: the nativist and elite Founders that rule Columbia and strive to keep its privileges for White Americans, and the Vox Populi, underground rebels representing the underclass of the city. During this conflict, Booker learns that Elizabeth possesses strange powers to manipulate "Tears" in the space-time continuum that ravage Columbia, and soon discovers her to be central to the city's dark secrets.

The player controls Booker Dewitt throughout the game, eventually working with the AI-controlled Elizabeth. Like previous BioShock games, the player uses a combination of weapons, clothing called Gear that offer unique attributes, and psychokinetic powers granted through Vigors. Elizabeth's powers can also be used to help fight hostile forces. In contrast to the limited spaces of the underwater city of Rapture, the openness of Columbia provides for more dynamic combat, including combat that takes place aboard the city's Sky-Line rollercoaster-like rail system. Downloadable content for the game includes a story-based mission, Burial at Sea, that links Infinite's story to that of the original BioShock game.

The game won over 85 pre-release awards for its display at E3 2011, including Best of Show from the Game Critics Awards. At release, BioShock Infinite received critical acclaim, with praise particularly directed at its story, setting, and visual art design, and is often regarded as one of the best video games of the seventh generation of consoles. According to review aggregator Metacritic, it was the third-highest rated video game of 2013. Within two months of release, it sold over 3.7 million retail copies, and has since sold more than 11 million copies overall. It won year-end accolades, including Game of the Year from several gaming publications. It was re-released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 13, 2016, as part of BioShock: The Collection, alongside its remastered predecessors.

Captains of Industry (record label)

The Captains of Industry were an independent record label based in London and Durham, UK. They announced their launch in 2003 "as a self-funded experiment in art and commerce" with a plan to exist for 5 years, and as a result ceased trading while in profit in 2008.

They released material by artists including Hell Is for Heroes, The Grates, Peace Burial at Sea, Gay for Johnny Depp, The SoundEx, Marmaduke Duke, Kinesis, TEAM and Sucioperro.

Captains of Industry 'ceased trading' as of 1 April 2008, claiming to have achieved their '5 year plan' - to "release some cool records".The label released Transmit Disrupt, the second album by Hell Is for Heroes, after the band was dropped by EMI, and is co-managed by the band's vocalist Justin Schlosberg.

Characters of the BioShock series

The BioShock series is a collection of story-driven first person shooters in which the player explores dystopian settings created by Ken Levine and his team at Irrational Games. The first two games, BioShock and its direct sequel, BioShock 2, take place in the underwater city of Rapture in the 1950s and 1960s, which was influenced heavily by Ayn Rand's Objectivism. The third installment, BioShock Infinite, is set aboard the floating air-city of Columbia in 1912, designed around the concept of American Exceptionalism. Though Infinite is not a direct sequel to the previous games, the game is thematically linked; a short scene within the core Infinite game returns to Rapture, while the downloadable content BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea tie in many of the plot elements between BioShock and BioShock Infinite.

As a heavily plot-driven series of games, BioShock contains a long list of non-playable characters (NPC) with which the player interacts and which drive the games' respective stories.

Courtnee Draper

Courtnee Alyssa Draper (born April 24, 1985) is an American actress, singer, artist, lawyer, and voice actress. She is best known for her roles as Morgan Hudson in The Jersey, Sam in The Thirteenth Year, Megan Larson in Stepsister from Planet Weird, and Elizabeth in BioShock Infinite. For her performance in BioShock Infinite, Draper was nominated for a British Academy Games Award for Performer and won a Spike Video Game Award (Best Song) for her performance of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" in the game (Draper later additionally recorded a version of "You Belong to Me" for the game's follow-up, Burial at Sea). Draper was also a cast member on The Bold and the Beautiful from April to October 2002 as Erica Lovejoy.

Draper was born at the Naval Hospital in Orlando, Florida. Her mother served in the military. As a result, she has resided in and visited many areas of the United States (including Florida, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Arizona, and Hawaii) and the Far East (including Japan, Okinawa, Korea and Hong Kong). She was introduced to old films and musicals at age five while living in Okinawa, Japan. Courtnee Draper graduated from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

Death of Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden, the founder and first leader of the Islamist group Al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1:00 am PKT (20:00 UTC, May 1) by United States Navy SEALs of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU or SEAL Team Six). The operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was carried out in a CIA-led operation with Joint Special Operations Command, commonly known as JSOC, coordinating the Special Mission Units involved in the raid. In addition to SEAL Team Six, participating units under JSOC included the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)—also known as "Night Stalkers"—and operators from the CIA's Special Activities Division, which recruits heavily from former JSOC Special Mission Units. The operation ended a nearly 10-year search for bin Laden, following his role in the September 11 attacks on the United States.

The raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan was launched from Afghanistan. U.S. military officials said that after the raid U.S. forces took the body of bin Laden to Afghanistan for identification, then buried it at sea within 24 hours of his death in accordance with Islamic tradition.Al-Qaeda confirmed the death on May 6 with posts made on militant websites, vowing to avenge the killing. Other Pakistani militant groups, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, vowed retaliation against the U.S. and against Pakistan for not preventing the operation. The raid was supported by over 90% of the American public, was welcomed by the United Nations, NATO, the European Union and a large number of governments, but was condemned by others, including two-thirds of the Pakistani public. Legal and ethical aspects of the killing, such as his not being taken alive despite being unarmed, were questioned by others, including Amnesty International. Also controversial was the decision not to release any photographic or DNA evidence of bin Laden's death to the public.In the aftermath of the killing, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani formed a commission under Senior Justice Javed Iqbal to investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack. The resulting Abbottabad Commission Report, which revealed Pakistani state military and intelligence authorities' "collective failure" that enabled bin Laden to hide in Pakistan for nine years, was leaked to Al Jazeera on July 8, 2013.

Disposal of human corpses

Disposal of human corpses, also called final disposition, is the practice and process of dealing with the remains of a deceased human being. Like most animals, when humans die, their bodies start to decompose, emitting a foul odor and attracting scavengers and decomposers. Disposal methods may need to account for the fact that soft tissues will decompose relatively rapidly, while the skeleton will remain intact for thousands of years under certain conditions.

Several methods for disposal are practiced. A funeral is a ceremony that may accompany the final disposition. Regardless, the manner of disposal is often dominated by spiritual concerns and a desire to show respect for the dead, and may be highly ritualized. In other circumstances, such as war or natural disaster, practical concerns may be forefront. Many religions as well as legal jurisdictions have set rules regarding the disposal of corpses. Since the experience of death is universal to all humans, practices regarding corpse disposal are a part of every culture. Ancient methods of disposing of dead bodies include cremation practised by the Romans, Greeks, and Hindus; burial practised by the Jews, Christians, and Muslims; mummification practised by the Ancient Egyptians; and the sky burial and a similar method of disposal called Towers of Silence practiced by Tibetan Buddhists and Zoroastrians.

Elizabeth (BioShock)

Elizabeth is a fictional character in Irrational Games' BioShock Infinite, the third title in the BioShock series. The game is set in 1912 on a floating steampunk city named Columbia which was founded on the principles of American exceptionalism. Elizabeth has been groomed in a controlled environment to take over the reins of the city once its current leader, Father Comstock, dies. Elizabeth has the power to open "tears" in the fabric of reality, allowing her to access parallel universes. To prevent her from leaving Columbia, her captors employ a "siphon" which drains and limits her powers, and she is locked in a tower guarded by a giant mechanical bird called the Songbird. The main protagonist of the game, Booker DeWitt, enters Columbia in order to rescue Elizabeth in exchange for his gambling debts being forgiven. Elizabeth also appears in Burial at Sea, a film noir-inspired episodic downloadable content story set in the underwater city of Rapture. She takes on a femme fatale role and serves as the player character in the second episode.

The character is voiced by Courtnee Draper and her motion capture was provided by Heather Gordon. Irrational Games based Elizabeth's face on Anna Moleva, a Russian cosplayer, after the developers saw her incredibly accurate costume, and hired her to do live-action advertisements. Elizabeth's relationship with Songbird was partly based on Ken Levine's personal experiences. She is slightly naive after having lived most of her life in a tower. Developers repeatedly considered simply cutting her due to the hassle in making her "work". Great work was put into her artificial intelligence, with the developers believing there had been no real great A.I. companion in video games since Half-Life 2's Alyx Vance. The character has hyper-realistic expressions to help players see her from across the battlefield, as well as a two-tone colour scheme and unique silhouette.

Elizabeth was heavily featured in news and media prior to the release of the game, and plastic figures of her have been made. She has been positively received, and Infinite reviews particularly highlighted her role. Her A.I. was praised, as was her character and narrative role.

Goatsnake/Burning Witch

Goatsnake/Burning Witch is a split EP by Goatsnake and Burning Witch. It was released on Hydra Head Records in 2000. Both bands contribute two tracks. The second Goatsnake track, "Burial at Sea", is a Saint Vitus cover.


Megadeath (or megacorpse) is one million human deaths, usually caused by a nuclear explosion. The term was used by scientists and thinkers who strategized likely outcomes of all-out nuclear warfare.

Natural burial

Natural burial is the interment of the body of a dead person in the soil in a manner that does not inhibit decomposition but allows the body to be naturally recycled. It is an alternative to other contemporary Western burial methods and funerary customs.

Osama bin Laden death conspiracy theories

The death of Osama bin Laden gave rise to various conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and rumors. These include the ideas that bin Laden had been dead for years, or is still alive. Doubts about bin Laden's death were fueled by the U.S. military's supposed disposal of his body at sea, the decision to not release any photographic or DNA evidence of bin Laden's death to the public, the contradicting accounts of the incident (with the official story on the raid appearing to change or directly contradict previous assertions), and the 25-minute blackout during the raid on bin Laden's compound during which a live feed from cameras mounted on the helmets of the U.S. special forces was cut off.On May 1, 2011, an image purporting to show a dead bin Laden was broadcast on Pakistani television. Although the story was picked up by much of the British press, as well the Associated Press, it was swiftly removed from websites after it was exposed as a fake on Twitter.On May 4, the Obama administration announced it would not release any images of Bin Laden's dead body. The administration had considered releasing the photos to dispel rumors of a hoax, at the risks of perhaps prompting another attack by al Qaeda and of releasing very graphic images to people who might find them disturbing. Several photos of the aftermath of the raid were given to Reuters by an anonymous Pakistani security official, but though all appeared to be authentic, they were taken after the U.S. forces had left and none of them included evidence regarding bin Laden's fate.On May 6, it was reported that an al-Qaeda website acknowledged bin Laden's death. On May 11, Republican senator and Senate Armed Services Committee member Jim Inhofe stated he had viewed "gruesome" photographs of bin Laden's corpse, and later confirmed that the body "was him", adding, "He's history".On May 21, 2015, journalist Seymour Hersh published a report claiming that Pakistan had kept bin Laden under house arrest since 2006, that the U.S. had learned of bin Laden's location through a Pakistani intelligence official and not through tracking a courier, and that elements of the Pakistani military aided the U.S. in killing bin Laden. The White House denied Hersh's report.

Peace Burial at Sea

Peace Burial At Sea were a Newcastle upon Tyne-based four-piece post-rock band which combined elements of post-hardcore with electronic textures, incorporating lyrical themes inspired by Soviet propaganda, horror films, science fiction, and the occult. Their name was inspired by the J. M. W. Turner painting of a similar name.

The band originated in Hexham, Northumberland and released their debut album This Is Such A Quiet Town in 2003. A self-titled second album was released in 2006. A digital-only EP containing the album track "Czarina Catherine" was also released (date unknown), which included two other songs that do not appear elsewhere: "Easy Meat for Faceless Men" and "This is a Godless Town."

The band's music was well-received, with reviews that included a rating of 'KKKK' from Kerrang! for their first album. Their second album was described by Drowned in Sound as "one of the undiscovered greats of its kind".They played across the UK with such bands as 65daysofstatic and Hell is for Heroes, and also played shows in Moscow. Their music received national airplay on BBC Radio from DJs such as John Peel, Zane Lowe, and Steve Lamacq.The band split up in 2007 and announced their last gig with characteristic self-deprecation: "We're first on, so get there early. We shall only be playing loud and fast songs, none of this prog nonsense."

Both of the formally-released albums are currently available via Bandcamp.

Rapture (BioShock)

Rapture is a fictional city in the BioShock series published by 2K Games. It is an underwater city that is the main setting for the games BioShock and BioShock 2. The city also briefly appears in BioShock Infinite, and is featured in its downloadable content, Burial at Sea. The game's back-story describes the city as envisioned by business tycoon Andrew Ryan in the mid-1940s as a means to create a utopia for mankind's greatest artists and thinkers to prosper in a laissez-faire environment outside of increasing oppression by the world's governments. However, the lack of government made many people uneasy, and the masses turned toward political activists like Atlas who advocated stability under a government, turning the city into a dystopia; and on the eve of 1959, a civil war broke out, leaving much of Rapture's population dead. The remaining citizens either became psychotic "Splicers" due to the effects of ADAM, a substance that can alter genetic material, or have barricaded themselves from the Splicers to protect themselves, leaving the city to fail and fall apart around them.

The player first experiences Rapture in BioShock, in 1960, a year after the fateful riots, as a man named Jack that has come to Rapture after a plane accident over the mid-Atlantic Ocean where the city was located; during this, the player comes to learn more about Ryan's motives and those that he struggled against to keep the city's ideals until the very end. In BioShock 2, the player takes the role of a "Big Daddy", a heavily modified humanoid in an armored diving suit, designed to maintain the city, and would soon come to serve the purpose of protecting the Little Sisters as they collect ADAM from "Angels", which are dead bodies that harbor significant amounts of ADAM; this takes place eight years after the events of the first game, and while Ryan has been killed, there remain those that vie for the vacuum left in his position of power.

Rapture makes a brief appearance near the climax of BioShock Infinite, which is otherwise set in a different dystopian city, Columbia. Downloadable content for Infinite is set in Rapture on New Year's Eve 1959, a year before the events of the first BioShock and on the day of the civil war.

Saint Vitus (album)

Saint Vitus is the debut album by the American doom metal band Saint Vitus, released in early 1984 via SST Records. According to Dave Chandler, the album was recorded in 1982, but was delayed by nearly two years, due to a lawsuit that SST was involved in. It was released on both vinyl and cassette, and later on CD; all three formats are currently difficult to find. "White Magic/Black Magic" and "Saint Vitus" are included on the compilation album Heavier Than Thou. Along with Trouble's Psalm 9, Saint Vitus is considered by many critics one of the first doom metal albums to be released.

"Burial at Sea" was later recorded by Goatsnake and released on their Trampled Under Hoof EP.

Three-volley salute

The three-volley salute is a ceremonial act performed at military funerals and sometimes also police funerals. The custom originates from the European dynastic wars, where the fighting ceased so the dead and wounded could be removed. Then, three shots were fired into the air to signal that the battle could resume.It should not be confused with the 21-gun salute (or 19-gun or 17-gun, etc.) which is fired by a battery of artillery pieces.

War. The Exile and the Rock Limpet

War. The Exile and the Rock Limpet is an oil painting of 1842 by the English Romantic painter J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851). Intended to be a companion piece to Turner's Peace. Burial at Sea, War is a painting that depicts a moment from Napoleon Bonaparte's exile at Saint Helena. In December 1815, the former Emperor was taken by the British government to the Longwood House, despite its state of disrepair, to live in captivity; during his final years of isolation, Napoleon had fallen into despair. Turner's decision to pair the painting with Peace was heavily criticized when it was first exhibited but it is also seen as predecessor to his more famous piece Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway (1844).

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