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What are you worth? Answered

I was wondering how much a human body is worth, so I worked it out.

I based it on a 100kg human, to keep the numbers simple, assuming commercial use of the materials, and worked in GBP:

There are other elements in smaller amounts ("enough sulphur to make a box of matches, but nothing to strike them on"), so we'll add a few pounds for those, and the whole thing comes out at:

34,750 of your English pounds!


So, who is going to start the first people-recycling centre? Soylent Green has nothing on this!

18 Replies

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gmjhowe (author)2008-08-21

Surly a human body is worth more as donor parts on the black market? you could get 35,000 for a liver alone...

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Kiteman (author)gmjhowe2008-08-21

It depends whose liver, though. Would have wanted Bestie's cast-offs?

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Grey_Wolfe (author)Kiteman2008-08-23

Or Rodney Dangerfield's???

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Kiteman (author)Grey_Wolfe2008-08-23

I'd rather have his liver than his trousers!

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Grey_Wolfe (author)Kiteman2008-08-25

LOL! Got a good point on that.

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Goodhart (author)Kiteman2008-08-23

it would be a nice gesture to help keep your friend alive in other then just memories :-)

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Grey_Wolfe (author)gmjhowe2008-08-23

Fresh humans go at a better price. Babies fetch a higher price on the market than livers do.

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killerjackalope (author)2008-08-21

What's interesting is that calcium is easily reclaimed from bones, think the biology demo's where you break down all the calcified compounds to leave fibrous tissue... Carbon and all the gases make little sense though, unless you threw the liver in hydrochloric acid and hoped the semi stored sugars turned to pure carbon...

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Kiteman (author)killerjackalope2008-08-21

The carbon is priced from graphite powder pigment, and the oxygen from one of those companies selling it in little bottles for a refreshing whiff.

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westfw (author)Kiteman2008-08-22

For real fun, separate out the carbon in the form of one of those exotic polymers (buckyballs? Nanotubes?) or perhaps gem grade diamonds ("yes folks, we can give you a valuable keepsake of your departed loved one by extracting the carbon from their body into a beautiful gemstone!") Make all the other elements ultra-pure reagents and change chemical-provider prices for them, and that will help with the overall value too. On the other hand, industrial coal seems to be about $50/ton, FOB the mine... (But I'd love to know where I can get a kg of phosphorus for 0.25 pounds...) Niven poked at the concept decades ago, of course. He figured recycled bodies would yield lots of useful organs for use in transplants, if you got them fresh enough. Only from criminals, of course. This resulted in the death penalty being applied for crimes like too many traffic tickets - everyone wanted to live forever via those transplants.

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Kiteman (author)westfw2008-08-23

I think I remember that Niven story. I also remember one where people volunteered to be harvested whilst still alive, getting stripped down to a brain and eyes in a jar, while their tissues where cultivated in vitro, muscle for meat, skin for leather. It sticks in my mind because the patient in the story was Ronnie Reagan. The phosphorus price is from an article claiming that the price could be driven that low by a new production technique.

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killerjackalope (author)Kiteman2008-08-21

Ah in that case yeah maybe... One thing about those oxygen companies, they were doing free trials out in the X-cape centre outside glasgow when I was doing a four hour climbing stint and I found that eating a sugary chocolate bar had a better effect than a three minute stint on the machine, it did clear my oxygen debt faster but not appreciably, I would guess that the blood flow through the lungs is the limiting factor in that equation but adding quick energy to burn through sugars seems to have a more lasting effect since all you do is clear the oxygen debt without adding any extra energy to use. Some times I wish our bodies had the ability to store sugars like fat, it wouldn't be efficient in comparison but the quick usefulness would be good and the water consumption would be lower. As far as interesting flavours go that oxygen is a marvel, it seems to be like jelly beans in terms of flavour modification.

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REA (author)2008-08-23

>>So, who is going to start the first people-recycling centre? Soylent Green has nothing on this!

the problem is that you need to decompose the body. its stinks and its too long of a process.

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Bartboy (author)2008-08-22

IT might not hurt to add that 1 pound is 2 of their american dollars, and a bit less of our Canadian?

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Weissensteinburg (author)2008-08-21

My mom tells me i'm priceless.

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Kiteman (author)Weissensteinburg2008-08-21

(In the UK, that can be an insult...)

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zachninme (author)Kiteman2008-08-21

that's exactly how she meant it ;-)

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xACIDITYx (author)Kiteman2008-08-21

(It can be taken that way in the US as well. lol)

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