Why is Six Feet the Standard Depth for Graves?

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six feet grave
Image credit: The New Republic

Six Feet below the ground. These standard depthness of graves has long been observed, have you ever asked why?

Truth be told, while“six feet under” is automatically associated with the very idea of death itself, it really doesn’t amount much to the relevance in burial customs. To begin with,There really are no universal rules on exactly how deep you’re legally supposed to bury someone when they die. One of the few general rules today is that a coffin should be covered by minimum 18 inches of dirt, considering this fact,then this means you can technically bury a dead one with less than two feet deep in different areas of the world, if you discount the amount of space displaced by the coffin itself. More often, people observe the standard practice of burying people deeper than this so that there’s room for possibly burying another person in the same grave, usually in this case, loved ones. As such, in some regions, even as deep as twelve feet isn’t unheard of.

Image Credit: Regina Jeffers

As for how six feet became associated with burial, considering how little the evidence of the so-called standard either now or in history, it really is still unclear. But, there is this popular belief that this association of six feet started from when a decree was issued by London’s mayor during the plague of 1665, that states, bodies had to be buried a deep distance below the Earth to avoid further spreading of the disease. Though this theory might not be so convincing at first look, usually the primary source of this theory is Daniel Defoe’s fictionalized account of the said plague through London that was titled, A Journal of the Plague Year. With that being said, the book is believed to have been taken from the journal of a certain person who witness the plague and there is some evidence that the book popularised the idea, regardless if this standard was really briefly established in London in the 17th century or not.

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