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Cryonics: Putting Death on Ice

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Cryonic Infographic

Cryonics: Putting Death on Ice

There is a potent thread winding its way through generations of human culture. From Ancient Egyptian rituals to Kurzweil’s Singularity, many paths have sprung up leading to the same elusive destination: immortality.

Today, the concept is as popular as it’s ever been, and technological advances are giving people hope that immortality, or at very least radical life extension, may be within reach. Is modern technology advanced enough to give people a second chance through cryonics?

Today’s infographic, courtesy of Futurism, tackles our growing fascination with putting death on ice.

The Prospect of Immortality

Robert C. W. Ettinger’s seminal work, The Prospect Of Immortality, detailed many of the scientific, moral, and economic implications of cryogenically freezing humans for later reanimation. It was after that book was published in 1962 that the idea of freezing one’s body after death began to take hold.

One of the most pressing questions is, even if we’re able to revive a person who has been cryogenically preserved, will the person’s memories and personality remain intact? Ettinger posits that long-term memory is stored in the brain as a long-lasting structural modification. Basically, those memories will remain, even if the brain’s “power is turned off”.


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Descending into the Deep-Freeze

There are three main steps in the cryogenic process:

1) Immediately after a patient dies, the body is cooled with ice packs and transported to the freezing location.

2) Next, blood is drained from the patient’s body and replaced with a cryoprotectant (basically the same antifreeze solution used to transport organs destined for transplant).

3) Finally, once the body arrives at the cryonic preservation facility, the body is cooled to -196ºC (-320.8ºF) over the course of two weeks. Bodies are generally stored upside-down in a tank of liquid nitrogen.

The Economics of Cryopreservation

At prices ranging from about $30,000 to $200,000, cryopreservation may sound like an option reserved for the wealthy, but many people fund the procedure by naming a cryonics company as the primary benefactor of their life insurance policy. Meanwhile, in the event of a death that doesn’t allow for preservation of the body, the money goes to secondary beneficiaries.

Even if we do eventually find a way to reanimate frozen humans, another important consideration is how those people would take care of themselves financially. That’s where a cryonics or personal revival trust comes into play. A twist on a traditional dynastic trust, this arrangement ensures that there are funds to cover costs of the cryopreservation, as well as ensure the grantor would have assets when they’re unthawed. Of course, there are risks involved beyond the slim possibility of reanimation. The legal code in hundreds of years could be vastly different than today.

If you created a trust for specific purposes in 1711, it is unlikely it would function in the same way today.

– Kris Knaplund, Law Professor, Pepperdine University

Cold Humans, Hot Market

At last count, there are already 346 people in the deep freeze, with thousands more on the waiting list. As technology improves, those numbers are sure to continue rising.

Time will tell whether cryonically preserved people are able to cheat death. In the meantime? The cryonics industry is alive and well.

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Demographics

Charted: Global Tobacco Use by Country and Sex

This visual shows tobacco use by country and sex, highlighting which countries still have a high prevalence of smoking.

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Chart of tobacco use by country and sex in 2022

Charting Global Tobacco Use by Country and Sex

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Globally, rates of tobacco use have been falling for decades. Today, it is estimated that one-in-five people around the world use tobacco products, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

That’s still enough people to have a sizable impact on both global healthcare and the environment. And the prevalence of tobacco use by country, and by sex, varies widely.

This chart shows current tobacco use in selected countries around the world using WHO estimates for 2022.

Which People Smoke the Most?

Below we examine the entire dataset of global countries by 2022 tobacco use. Estimates are of people aged 15 years and older and include both smoked and smokeless tobacco (including vaping). Countries that had no data for 2022 have been omitted.

In almost every country, males use tobacco more than females. Globally, 36% of men are tobacco users compared to just 8% of women.

CountryTotal Prevalence (%)Male (%)Female (%)
🇦🇫 Afghanistan22.138.35.9
🇦🇱 Albania22.438.76.6
🇩🇿 Algeria21.641.90.7
🇦🇩 Andorra33.633.333.8
🇦🇷 Argentina23.128.218.1
🇦🇲 Armenia22.549.31.7
🇦🇺 Australia12.514.810.3
🇦🇹 Austria22.023.720.5
🇦🇿 Azerbaijan19.339.60.1
🇧🇸 Bahamas10.720.62.1
🇧🇭 Bahrain18.125.74.9
🇧🇩 Bangladesh31.148.914.2
🇧🇧 Barbados6.511.71.7
🇧🇾 Belarus27.947.212.0
🇧🇪 Belgium24.727.422.1
🇧🇿 Belize8.715.51.9
🇧🇯 Benin5.59.51.7
🇧🇹 Bhutan19.627.211.0
🇧🇴 Bolivia12.220.44.1
🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina35.141.029.5
🇧🇼 Botswana18.130.26.5
🇧🇷 Brazil12.315.79.1
🇧🇳 Brunei Darussalam17.131.32.2
🇧🇬 Bulgaria34.038.130.2
🇧🇫 Burkina Faso13.521.75.5
🇧🇮 Burundi10.015.25.0
🇨🇻 Cabo Verde10.516.25.0
🇰🇭 Cambodia16.127.35.5
🇨🇲 Cameroon5.610.21.1
🇨🇦 Canada11.413.79.2
🇹🇩 Chad6.812.31.4
🇨🇱 Chile28.230.625.8
🇨🇳 China24.947.32.0
🇨🇴 Colombia8.212.14.5
🇰🇲 Comoros16.226.26.2
🇨🇬 Congo15.028.22.0
🇨🇰 Cook Islands25.530.321.4
🇨🇷 Costa Rica8.813.24.5
🇨🇮 Cöte d'Ivoire8.616.40.7
🇭🇷 Croatia32.634.231.1
🇨🇺 Cuba18.526.910.4
🇨🇾 Cyprus34.046.022.1
🇨🇿 Czechia27.531.723.3
🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo11.119.92.6
🇩🇰 Denmark16.216.416.0
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic10.214.06.5
🇪🇨 Ecuador10.117.62.6
🇪🇬 Egypt24.748.90.3
🇸🇻 El Salvador8.315.61.9
🇪🇪 Estonia25.632.919.1
🇸🇿 Eswatini8.616.21.4
🇪🇹 Ethiopia4.67.81.4
🇫🇯 Fiji27.341.713.1
🇫🇮 Finland19.623.915.4
🇫🇷 France29.231.327.3
🇬🇲 Gambia9.618.70.6
🇬🇪 Georgia29.054.77.1
🇩🇪 Germany18.821.316.4
🇬🇭 Ghana3.15.90.3
🇬🇷 Greece29.633.126.3
🇬🇹 Guatemala12.022.71.7
🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau7.514.80.6
🇬🇾 Guyana10.519.32.2
🇭🇹 Haiti7.312.62.3
🇭🇳 Honduras12.222.71.7
🇭🇺 Hungary29.434.724.5
🇮🇸 Iceland9.49.49.4
🇮🇳 India23.936.810.4
🇮🇩 Indonesia38.573.63.4
🇮🇷 Iran (Islamic Republic of)13.924.83.1
🇮🇶 Iraq18.736.01.6
🇮🇪 Ireland18.220.516.1
🇮🇱 Israel19.826.413.3
🇮🇹 Italy20.424.116.8
🇯🇲 Jamaica9.515.83.5
🇯🇵 Japan16.826.57.7
🇯🇴 Jordan36.357.813.4
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan21.738.26.9
🇰🇪 Kenya9.216.62.1
🇰🇮 Kiribati38.251.625.7
🇰🇼 Kuwait22.735.62.1
🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan26.451.33.3
🇱🇦 Lao People's Democratic Republic25.843.28.4
🇱🇻 Latvia30.345.617.2
🇱🇧 Lebanon34.043.125.7
🇱🇸 Lesotho22.942.04.8
🇱🇷 Liberia7.112.51.7
🇱🇹 Lithuania27.940.117.3
🇱🇺 Luxembourg21.823.320.3
🇲🇬 Madagascar25.741.79.9
🇲🇼 Malawi7.113.01.7
🇲🇾 Malaysia22.643.80.7
🇲🇻 Maldives29.343.610.1
🇲🇱 Mali7.614.40.7
🇲🇹 Malta23.225.520.6
🇲🇭 Marshall Islands30.451.88.6
🇲🇷 Mauritania9.417.22.0
🇲🇺 Mauritius20.038.12.8
🇲🇽 Mexico14.623.16.9
🇲🇳 Mongolia29.352.67.3
🇲🇪 Montenegro32.130.933.2
🇲🇦 Morocco13.125.31.0
🇲🇲 Myanmar43.969.419.2
🇳🇦 Namibia12.521.34.7
🇳🇷 Nauru49.550.348.7
🇳🇵 Nepal24.942.79.4
🇳🇱 Netherlands (Kingdom of the)20.122.517.7
🇳🇿 New Zealand11.412.710.2
🇳🇪 Niger7.714.01.3
🇳🇬 Nigeria2.95.40.4
🇳🇴 Norway14.014.813.2
🇴🇲 Oman11.017.40.4
🇵🇰 Pakistan16.927.76.2
🇵🇼 Palau17.026.37.3
🇵🇦 Panama5.18.41.9
🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea40.455.424.9
🇵🇾 Paraguay10.617.43.8
🇵🇪 Peru7.011.62.6
🇵🇭 Philippines20.436.24.3
🇵🇱 Poland23.227.619.1
🇵🇹 Portugal20.927.115.5
🇶🇦 Qatar18.824.62.3
🇰🇷 Republic of Korea18.932.75.4
🇲🇩 Republic of Moldova27.852.76.3
🇷🇴 Romania27.537.418.5
🇷🇺 Russian Federation27.242.014.8
🇷🇼 Rwanda12.017.76.7
🇱🇨 Saint Lucia13.624.83.0
🇼🇸 Samoa22.231.013.2
🇸🇹 Sao Tome and Principe7.112.61.8
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia17.428.42.1
🇸🇳 Senegal6.011.70.6
🇷🇸 Serbia36.638.834.6
🇸🇨 Seychelles20.834.65.7
🇸🇱 Sierra Leone11.417.35.5
🇸🇬 Singapore16.427.94.0
🇸🇰 Slovakia30.235.425.4
🇸🇮 Slovenia18.120.215.9
🇸🇧 Solomon Islands37.655.319.6
🇿🇦 South Africa20.335.16.5
🇪🇸 Spain24.927.522.5
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka19.137.82.4
🇸🇪 Sweden22.128.315.9
🇨🇭 Switzerland23.326.320.4
🇹🇭 Thailand18.937.71.8
🇹🇱 Timor-Leste37.664.59.8
🇹🇬 Togo5.610.20.9
🇹🇴 Tonga30.746.815.5
🇹🇳 Tunisia20.139.71.6
🇹🇷 Türkiye30.741.919.6
🇹🇲 Turkmenistan5.410.60.5
🇹🇻 Tuvalu33.848.319.0
🇺🇬 Uganda5.39.01.8
🇺🇦 Ukraine22.038.38.5
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates11.715.52.5
🇬🇧 United Kingdom13.115.011.4
🇹🇿 United Republic of Tanzania7.513.12.2
🇺🇸 United States of America23.028.617.5
🇺🇾 Uruguay19.323.016.0
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan16.231.81.0
🇻🇳 Viet Nam22.844.32.2
🇾🇪 Yemen20.833.77.9
🇿🇲 Zambia12.021.82.7
🇿🇼 Zimbabwe9.219.00.8

From a regional perspective, we can see many countries in Europe and Asia have higher rates of tobacco use. Indonesia and Myanmar specifically have some of the highest tobacco use rates in the world, with 73.6% of Indonesian men estimated to smoke or use tobacco.

In many Asian countries we also see a greater difference between male and female smokers compared to the rest of the world. In China for example, 47.3% of males are estimated to use tobacco compared to just 2.0% of females.

On the other hand, the Americas and especially Africa have a lower prevalence of tobacco use. Nigeria at 2.9% had the lowest rate of tobacco use in the world in 2022.

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