People have been accidentally buried alive with alarming frequency as recently as 100 years ago, when determining the moment of passing was more difficult.
A universal fear of being buried alive inspired inventors to come up with several coffins designed with escape hatches.
A coffin may be buried in the ground or cremated, or it may be interred above ground in a mausoleum.
Styles of coffin vary widely depending on the cultures that practice burial.
Some coffins are made to permanently display the corpse, like the glass-covered coffin of the Haraldskær Woman in Vejle, Denmark, for example.