Hundreds Of Frozen Human Bodies Are Waiting For Science To Advance And Wake Them Up

In the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, on the edge of the Sonoran desert there lies a frozen man immersed in liquid nitrogen inside an aluminum pod. 

James Bedford‘s body is stacked vertically along with 180 other frozen people in the Alcor Life Extensions Foundation in Scottsdale.

Outside of the building, temperatures can reach more than 40 degrees for 8 months of the year.

However, on the inside, Bedford and the other frozen people, with enough money to support to remain frozen, are being kept at -200 degrees.

Bedford was a World War 1 veteran and psychology professor who explored the Amazon and Africa in the mid-20th century.

Image: Alcor

He died of kidney cancer at 73 years of age in 1967 and is the oldest cryogenically frozen human being in history.

Had science been advanced enough to reanimate him, he would now be celebrating 54 years in a deep freeze.

Image: Alcor

Since his original freezing, many have signed up to join him in hopes of a new life at some point in the future.

Some, like Bedford, are full bodies, while others are just heads or brains.

In the last 50 years, the science of cryogenics has had some fatal failures as some wrongly frozen bodies started to decompose.

Frozen body pods. Image: Alcor

There are also bodies that have been thrown around in trucks packed in dry ice as their families argue over whether to keep them frozen for the future or give them a proper funeral now.

But, as science is making steps towards progress each year, in the three cryogenic facilities of the world – Alcor, the Cryonics Institute in Michigan, and KrioRus in Russia – new bodies are being added to the stack.

Other famous people who have been frozen by cryogenics include:

Dick Clair Jones – actor, writer, and producer.

Thomas K. Donaldson – mathematician.

Fereidoun M. Esfandiary, also known as FM-2030 – transhumanist philosopher.

Jerry Leaf – Alcor’s vice president before he died of a heart attack in 1991.

Ted Williams – professional baseball player.

John-Henry Williams – professional baseball player and son of Ted Williams.

And there surely are signs of hope as back in 2016 a young graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology named Robert McIntyre was able to successfully freeze and then revive a mammalian brain, that of a rabbit.

After it was unfrozen, the brain was found to have all of its synapses, cell membranes, and intracellular structures intact.

Freezing usually damages cells, but this defrosted rabbit brain was in almost perfect condition. Image: Kenneth Hayworth, Brain Preservation Foundation

And now, Alcor’s cryogenics base in the Sonoran desert hosts the bodies of 181 humans frozen in liquid nitrogen.

The day when a frozen human from one of the three cryogenic facilities would be revived may not come any time soon but scientists are hopeful that at some point in time we could be witnessing the re-births of people long forgotten.

What are your thoughts on the future of cryogenics? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share if you’ve enjoyed the read.

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