Remember Mr. Freeze from Batman and Robin? Arnold Schwarzenegger walked around in a mobile cryo-suit for the entire film, spouting a range of terrible ice puns. Well, cryogenics is a real science, and though it isn’t as advanced as Mr. Freeze just yet, real life people are lying in wait – and ice – at this very moment.
The oldest cryogenically frozen human being on earth is an American man named Dr. James Bedford; his body resides in the Alcor Life Extensions Foundation in Arizona.
As news.com.au reported, James isn’t the only one. There are 145 popsicle people in this facility all frozen soon after their death in a bid for immortality. Perhaps they hoped that they would be reanimated once the technology became available in the far-flung future.
It was quite a journey for Bedford to get to his final home at Alcor. He first paid $4,200 in 1966 for a steel capsule when he decided to collaborate with cryonics pioneer Bob Nelson. At the time, Bedford was dying of cancer, eventually passing away at age 73.
He was Nelson’s first successfully frozen corpse.
Bob Nelson, formerly a television repairman, was inspired by Siberian salamanders which have the uncanny ability to suspend themselves in permafrost for years and once thawed, continue with business as usual.
Nelson put Dr. Bedford’s body on ice and placed him in a wooden box leaving him at another doctor’s house. When the doctor’s wife threatened to call the police, Bedford’s family decided to look for alternative preservation techniques.
His frozen body was carted around and moved three times until he finally ended up at Alcor. A Cryonics company that began in 1971.
When Alcor opened Bedford’s frozen capsule in 1991 to inspect his condition, they found a well-preserved body, save for a few signs of skin discolouration and cornea issues.
After examination, they dunked him in liquid nitrogen and placed his body in an aluminum capsule. There he sleeps today.
If you’d like to be preserved in perpetuity, then check out Alcor’s website and become a member.