After reading this, you may never look at your fungi friends the same again. In the spirit of REALLY thinking ahead, bio-artist Jae Rhim Lee has created a flesh-eating mushroom death suit, which is exactly what it sounds like. Since 2008, Lee has been culturing mushrooms – both for her cuisines and to decompose her flesh, hair, nails, and other body parts.
Lee has sought to create an environmentally friendly alternative to the carcinogenic formaldehyde typically used with dead bodies. Though we need not worry about the carcinogenic effects on the dead, the reality is that the chemicals are seeping into the earth and affecting the living.
Her breed of “infinity mushrooms” are comprised of your everyday shiitake and oyster mushrooms, which normally grow on wood and decaying forest material, but can be trained to live off nearly any organic surface.
The first prototype of the suit is embroidered with mushroom spore-infused thread. The suit also comes with a “decompiculture kit” made of alternative embalming fluid, and a two-part makeup system made of dry mineral makeup and dried mushroom spores that combine with a separate liquid culture to activate the flesh-eating mushrooms upon application.
Lee’s aim is to promote the acceptance of death and decomposition, while contributing positively to the environment. However, the suit has yet to be tested, as there seems to be a lack of volunteers.