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Hakuna Matata
09-30-2011, 09:33 AM
How much does an average person (say 150 pounds) ashes weigh after cremation? Someone I was talking to was saying 20 pounds which I find hard to believe. I was thinking in the 2-5 pound range but figured someone here might know

The Conqueror Worm
09-30-2011, 09:49 AM
Based on my limited experience I would say your estimate is good.

DCnDC
09-30-2011, 09:56 AM
Generally about 4-6 lbs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cremation#Ash_weight_and_composition), or about 3.5% of the person's original weight.

Moirai
09-30-2011, 10:19 AM
IIRC my grandpa's ashes weighed maybe 3-5 pounds, but that was including the plastic-lined cardboard box they were in (we were scattering him right away so no need for a fancy urn!).

Quite light, actually, and most of the ash was very fine. The surprise was the bits of bone that seemed big to me (grain of rice or so).

Broomstick
09-30-2011, 10:20 AM
After cremation my sister was about 4 pounds, mom about 3, which would correlate with their respective weight (mom was seriously underweight when she died).

No way are the ashes from one person going to weigh 20 pounds, unless you're talking about someone who tipped the scales at half a ton prior to death.

drewtwo99
09-30-2011, 10:45 AM
After cremation my sister was about 4 pounds, mom about 3, which would correlate with their respective weight (mom was seriously underweight when she died).

No way are the ashes from one person going to weigh 20 pounds, unless you're talking about someone who tipped the scales at half a ton prior to death.

Assuming a 1000 lb person was cremated... I still don't think you'd get a lot more ash from them. Most of the fat will drip away as oil and be uncollected in the furnace. I remember touring a funeral home once and they explained that whenever a large person is cremated, they have the fire department come over ahead of time because the risk of the fat leaking out and setting the building on fire is real threat.

Hakuna Matata
09-30-2011, 10:49 AM
Assuming a 1000 lb person was cremated... I still don't think you'd get a lot more ash from them. Most of the fat will drip away as oil and be uncollected in the furnace. I remember touring a funeral home once and they explained that whenever a large person is cremated, they have the fire department come over ahead of time because the risk of the fat leaking out and setting the building on fire is real threat.

Now there is an image I didn't need ;) Good to know I was in the ballpark. The 20 pounds just didn't make any sense. Thanks everyone for the validation and comments.

drewtwo99
09-30-2011, 10:56 AM
Now there is an image I didn't need ;) Good to know I was in the ballpark. The 20 pounds just didn't make any sense. Thanks everyone for the validation and comments.

Yeah... although my friend's grandpa was cremated and sealed in marble, which probably weighed close to 50 lbs. Maybe if you have a heavy storage unit for the remains it could be 20 lbs... definitely not the ash though.

Slithy Tove
09-30-2011, 11:07 AM
Not everything is reduced to ash: the bones are dry and brittle, but mostly intact. So the remains are sent through a hammermill to reduce them to fine chips.

And what goes into the urn isn't all that came out of the oven: crematorjies are allowed some leeway to dispose of the overflow.

TruCelt
09-30-2011, 11:27 AM
Assuming a 1000 lb person was cremated... I still don't think you'd get a lot more ash from them. Most of the fat will drip away as oil and be uncollected in the furnace. I remember touring a funeral home once and they explained that whenever a large person is cremated, they have the fire department come over ahead of time because the risk of the fat leaking out and setting the building on fire is real threat.

:eek: :eek: :eek:

You should go around posting this on diet websites as a public service. Talk about your motivations. . .Sheesh!

Omar Little
09-30-2011, 02:42 PM
You think that people that aren't concerned about the impact of their obesity on themselves and their family would be more concerned about the safety of the crematory after they die?

Bill Door
09-30-2011, 06:04 PM
If ashes are so light why does it cost so much to get them hauled?

RearEchelon
09-30-2011, 06:14 PM
Not everything is reduced to ash: the bones are dry and brittle, but mostly intact. So the remains are sent through a hammermill to reduce them to fine chips.

And what goes into the urn isn't all that came out of the oven: crematorjies are allowed some leeway to dispose of the overflow.

This is pretty much what I had heard, but I was given to understand that there isn't really much in the way of actual ashes in the urn; the remains consist mostly of ground bone fragments that remained intact after the burning.

Broomstick
09-30-2011, 07:44 PM
I always thought the remains they hand you look like concrete dust. It might be fine, it might be gritty, but it never looked like either ashes or bones to me.

TheChileanBlob
09-30-2011, 09:55 PM
I always thought the remains they hand you look like concrete dust.

Sometimes it is (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-State_Crematory).

Broomstick
09-30-2011, 10:15 PM
You know, I really didn't need to hear that... but I am reasonably sure that such deception did not occur in the case of my relatives.

Heracles
10-01-2011, 08:30 AM
I also saw a documentary on cremation where they said that the "ashes" were crushed bones because that's the only thing left after the burning (which was something like an hour at 1000 degrees). Only a portion of the leftover bones are used in making the "ashes".

BrotherCadfael
10-01-2011, 05:57 PM
If ashes are so light why does it cost so much to get them hauled?They may be light, but they are relatively bulky. You can't get that many of them into a shipment, so the cost per unit is higher than you would expect.

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