That’s the first I’ve heard of this cremation process. The last time a celebrity death surprised me was when Boston RedSox great Ted Williams has his head severed and frozen.
Tutu’s ashes will be interred at St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, the BBC reported Saturday. But before his remains are laid to rest, they must first undergo a process called aquamation.
Scientifically speaking, the process is called alkaline hydrolysis. According to Bio-Response Solutions, an Indiana-based company that specializes in aquamation services, the body undergoes the same process it would as if it were buried in the ground.
Water, alkaline chemicals and heat are used to accelerate the decomposition process that takes place in nature. The body is loaded into a stainless-steel vessel and filled with a mix of 95% water and 5% alkali. The mix heated to 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit and gently circulates for 6-8 hours.