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Author Topic: Why are people buried 6feet under?  (Read 11137 times)

paul.fr

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« on: 04/04/2009 14:15:43 »
Why not 5 or 7? whats so special about 6 feet?


 

Offline Karen W.

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #1 on: 04/04/2009 14:34:43 »
I never understood that but from experience with animals I know they can find another buried critter and dig them up unless you don't bury them down deep enough to hide the odor I suppose from the deteriorating corpse so perhaps thats the reason.. could get to being a real smelly place if not deep enough! We have always had to bury our animals deep then put something like a huge truck tire or bigger over the fresh dig so other critters leave them be in the grave .. otherwise they dig the bodies up and it is so gross...
 

Offline RD

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #2 on: 04/04/2009 15:03:40 »
With multiple occupancy graves not all the coffins are "six feet under"...

Quote
one casket may be interred above another. If this is planned for in advance, the first casket may be buried more deeply than is the usual practice so that the second casket may be placed over it without disturbing the first. In many states in Australia all graves are designated two or three depth (depending of the water table) for multiple burials, at the discretion of the burial rights holder, with each new interment atop the previous coffin separated by a thin layer of earth. As such all graves are dug to greater depth for the initial burial than the traditional six feet to facilitate this practice.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burial#Multiple_bodies_per_grave
 

I did hear that when burying a second occupant the rotten coffin lid of the first occupant could give way under the weight of
the grave digger: they would literally put their foot in it.   [xx(]


Quote
Most lead coffins contain dry bones but some are found to be about one third full of a viscous black liquid (coffin liquor), which contains bones and (sometimes) soft tissues.
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2248/do-cemetery-plots-have-expiration-dates
« Last Edit: 04/04/2009 15:25:07 by RD »
 

Variola

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #3 on: 04/04/2009 15:43:45 »
Quote
Most lead coffins contain dry bones but some are found to be about one third full of a viscous black liquid (coffin liquor), which contains bones and (sometimes) soft tissues.

Oh now that really is ugh!!!!!  [xx(] [xx(] [xx(]
 

Offline Don_1

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #4 on: 04/04/2009 16:10:34 »
Maybe 6ft was determined as the most a grave digger could go down and still be able to get out without assistance?

Or perhaps it was thought that should the dead rise........ No that's silly, shut up you old fool.
 

Offline graham.d

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #5 on: 04/04/2009 16:18:57 »
I think Karen has suggested a good reason to bury a body deep, but I guess it should just be sufficient to avoid unnecessary work and also be hazardous to the digger. Given the coffin would be about a foot deep, the top would only be 5 feet down but this still seems much more than needed even in places where the animals are capable of digging.

In fact burial depths vary. In California the specified minimum (earth over the burial) is only 18 inches. In Quebec it has to be 1 metre. It seem the concept may have arisen during the great plague of 1665, though then people were often buried in great pits such was the death rate.

see http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2271/why-is-six-feet-under-the-standard-depth-for-burial

 

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #6 on: 04/04/2009 16:44:12 »
Thinking further on this, it may be that bodies were ordered to be buried as deep as possible, for the sake of the health and safety of those visiting cemeteries. 6ft may have been determined as being the maximum safe depth for a grave digger to go down and be able to get out unaided and the maximum depth at which, should the walls of the freshly dug grave colapse, it would not put the grave digger in 'grave danger' of being buried alive.

What say you, could this be where the term 'grave danger' originated. Perhaps I'll take a look.
 

Offline JimBob

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #7 on: 04/04/2009 17:28:23 »
I had the understanding it was to keep the dead from rising and bothering the living. But what do I know?
 

Offline neilep

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #8 on: 04/04/2009 17:33:33 »
Is 6 feet where moles burrow ?...it could be like a drive-thru !!
 

Offline RD

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #9 on: 04/04/2009 18:05:59 »
Quote
Most lead coffins contain dry bones but some are found to be about one third full of a viscous black liquid (coffin liquor)

So that's where they get Tia Maria from  :)
 

Offline graham.d

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #10 on: 04/04/2009 18:53:09 »
Tia Maria never has any crunchy bits in it though.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #11 on: 04/04/2009 23:39:26 »
With multiple occupancy graves not all the coffins are "six feet under"...

Quote
one casket may be interred above another. If this is planned for in advance, the first casket may be buried more deeply than is the usual practice so that the second casket may be placed over it without disturbing the first. In many states in Australia all graves are designated two or three depth (depending of the water table) for multiple burials, at the discretion of the burial rights holder, with each new interment atop the previous coffin separated by a thin layer of earth. As such all graves are dug to greater depth for the initial burial than the traditional six feet to facilitate this practice.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burial#Multiple_bodies_per_grave
 

I did hear that when burying a second occupant the rotten coffin lid of the first occupant could give way under the weight of
the grave digger: they would literally put their foot in it.   [xx(]


Quote
Most lead coffins contain dry bones but some are found to be about one third full of a viscous black liquid (coffin liquor), which contains bones and (sometimes) soft tissues.
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2248/do-cemetery-plots-have-expiration-dates


OH gross... gag me with a spoon.. That is terrible...descriptions.. good links.. but yuck!
 

paul.fr

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #12 on: 05/04/2009 10:56:28 »
Thank you Karen, RD and all.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #13 on: 05/04/2009 12:33:31 »
Welcome young man!
 

Offline Titanscape

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #14 on: 06/04/2009 06:55:49 »
Whether 5, 6 or 7, the idea is that the diseases which multiply in a dead organism, are stopped by layers of Earth. Viruses, and bacteria. Or else there would be plagues and new diseases. Also that is why they are burned in other situations and alike so, with animals and in the case of mad cow disease too. A friend of mine studied medicine, dead bodies have amazing chemistry.

Also one need think of the water table.

I suppose 6 feet is both a matter of science, respect and grave digger economics.
« Last Edit: 06/04/2009 06:57:37 by Titanscape »
 

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Why are people buried 6feet under?
« Reply #14 on: 06/04/2009 06:55:49 »

 

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