So, let’s say that at some point in the hopefully distant future, the second law catches up to me, some random part of my body just craps out and stops working right, and I die.

Luckily, through the power of foresight, I have a post-mortem plan! Despite the chaotic, hellish merry-go-round that is life, there are still some parts I like about it, and I’m not ready to give up just yet. I have made arrangements to have my body cryogenically frozen immediately after death, to minimize further cell damage, and to be woken up at some point in the future, when they have the technology to cure this kind of thing.

The problem is, that the future is a really long way away, and I need someone on the other end to bring me back to life, so I can start doing stuff that isn’t spending hundreds of years in a tube again. Assuming that humanity hasn't progressed to the point where there are just reanimation stations on every street corner for whatever reason, repairing 80-somewhat years of damage to a human person is going to take time, money, and resources. Someone has to have a pretty good reason to want to reanimate some stiff from the 21st century. And if I don’t have that critical man on the inside, then I’m essentially going to stay dead until something gets unplugged, and I start to decay past the point of possible re-animation. I could have some sort of message go out, but I have no idea if anyone would have the backwards-compatible tech to even receive it anymore, like sending a telegram to an iPhone, and even if they did, they could just disregard it as a hoax. I could have someone else pass down a message from generation to generation, but that could be distorted really easily, and the gravity of it would probably wear off to the point where even if someone still remembers, it would just be as, “Oh, I was supposed to resuscitate so and so! Eh, I’ll do it later.” I could stockpile some sort of monetary reward to whoever wakes me up, but the awareness of that could also fade, and because of inflation, the amount could be laughably small, or even completely unusable, like confederate money. I need some sort of reasonably-foolproof way to make sure that someone, anyone, brings me back to life, so I can continue to enjoy the future.

To be clear, I’m not super picky, nor am I aiming for a certain date. As long as I get woken up at all, more than 100+ years in the future, I’m happy. Also, in this hypothetical situation, I’ve died of natural causes, not any specific disease or injury, just general cellular decay. My brain is still intact, as well as most of my important limbs and organs, they just need a tune-up. I’m still all in one piece, and for the sake of convenience, let’s say that they put me somewhere safe, but still accessible.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Femats last theorem $\endgroup$
    – Ewan
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 14:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This could interest you : worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/3429/… $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ Interestingly, the difficult in guaranteeing someone wakes you up at a good time is highly related to Maxwell's Daemon, which was a thought experiment in thermodynamics that was actually proven thermodynamically impossible. The thing that stops you from guaranteeing what you want here is the same thing which prevents us from generating useful energy from waste heat energy without a temperature gradient. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 17:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is this really about worldbuilding? It seems to affect just one person, rather than an entire world. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 21:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Start a cult that worships you as a deity to save them when some prophesied stellar event occurs. $\endgroup$
    – The Nate
    Commented May 7, 2016 at 0:26

4 Answers 4


Plan D: All of the above

The odds of anyone (that is not you) caring about your preserved corpse more than all the decomposed ones in graveyards will be fairly low, so you need to have layers upon layers in your plan.


A small or medium company will be the best caretaker, but stay away from family run businesses, as you are almost guaranteed to get either a complete incompetent or someone with no interest in the business at all within 3-4 generations. If you amassed a sizable fortune, the best choice is a museum or a non-profit with some charitable goal that is likely to remain relevant for a long time. Respect for the founder/donor will get you some of the way, but the priority is to have a thorough selection and training program for the CEO to ensure focus and loyalty, and a succession program that can survive a few resignations or accidents. Lock down ownership of the building, grounds etc in a trust beyond the reach of the company itself for as much as that is possible.

You could have a second company somewhere else in the world that manages enough money to buy the location/non-profit that houses your body if things go wrong, but the odds are much worse for this to succeed, so I wouldn't bother.

Time capsules

Let's assume the caretakers lose interest, fail or disappear for some reason. You don't want your facility to be easy to find, because you don't want to be found by a hobo that will dump your corpse so he can store his booze in the "fridge", looters that will strip the lab for valuable metals instead of waking you or even a random well-meaning person that presses the "thaw" button and then leaves when nothing seems to happen...

With the facility well hidden, time capsules are you next layer. Put them in the museum itself, but also in places that you expect to last for at least a hundred years before they get torn down and rebuilt. It's hard to find those nowadays, but count on the power of neglect and budget cuts to stretch renovation time frames.

Once activated or revealed, the time capsules should not directly point to your location. Address them to universities and research hospitals. Even if those don't exist anymore, people will get the right idea and bring them to a similar institute. Put some ambiguous and cryptic hints inside, spell out an encryption scheme and encode the vital information in DNA strands. This will ensure that only people with the right kind of equipment and knowledge (as well as a professional interest in seeing if they can revive you) will know where to look for you.

Extra bonus option: send a satellite with the same info into space on a long elliptic orbit that will not bring it back to Earth for a few hundred years.

Emergency broadcast

Similar to the time capsules, but more direct: If your containment facility is threatening to fail for some reason have it send out broadcasts with increasingly clear information. There is a definite risk you will attract the wrong kind of people this way, but rotting away is a certainty if nobody comes to revive you... or is it?

The final contingency

There is one way to ensure that someone other than you will be there at the time of your (intended) resurrection: You find someone with the medical and general skills to find help for you, who also has a fatal but not debilitating disease. That person will be frozen first, during your life and will be woken up first when the time is right or the machines are close to failure.

They will be motivated to find help and if they do get cured, deeply in your debt, so the odds are good they will try hard to have you revived too.

  • $\begingroup$ Very creative, but when you wrote about time capsules, why would you want to make it more difficult for people to find you and know what to do with you? $\endgroup$
    – Pedro
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ They'll get curious. $\endgroup$
    – JesseTG
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 3:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Pedro: I've updated my answer to address this, but basically, because people are bastards. $\endgroup$
    – Cyrus
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 5:21

Take a leaf from Jeremy Bentham's book and have yourself put on display in the main hall of an organisation you've founded. A major academic institution would be ideal for this.

You're now a fixture in the day to day lives of the people attending said organisation and they're highly unlikely to forget about you.

As a condition of the trust that funds this organisation they're required to resuscitate you at the point in the future when the technology to reliably do so becomes available.


Have Lots of Offsprings

With having lots of offsprings its almost guaranteed that in some generation somebody would take interest in family history and respect your well-known wish.

Radioactivate A Large Piece of Land

Large piece of land, on the level of hundreds of square kilometers would be too much for people of future to let go without using. Just set the radioactivity level so that it remains high enough for no life to survive in it beyond hours (not enough time to fully explore it) (dont worry about robots, radioactivity high enough as stated would guarantee that all electronics in such robots would be fried before it can actually found anything); and put a large stock of precious metal at a place where if anybody enter some mechanism in place get fired and your resurrection starts.

With large stock of precious metal in place its guaranteed that somebody enter in and start digging and do some heavy work that fire the mechanism. With radioactivity in place its guaranteed that nobody and no robot survive long enough there to pre-maturely start the mechanism.

With large piece of land locked up in radioactivity its guaranteed that enough people try to explore and utilize the land for long enough time that radioactivity dies down to the extent they reach your place.


The answer is money.

You've already selected a company that is interested in cyogenics and accepted that they will cryogenically freeze you if you die. All you need now is a fund located at a lawyer firm (and some investors using it in safe investments to keep it a viable source of money). This fund will pay the cryogenics to keep your body stored properly and occasionally be inspected. A lump sum is paid to whichever company has the technology to revive you, with a massive fine for anyone who tries and fails. Just in case the lawyer firm will also get a lump sum for succeeding in reviving you, paid by you personally ofcourse.

This encourages people to store your body and for someone else to revive you, and for the people in charge of the money to also actively get you revived so they get paid well. There are also systems in place to make sure the cryogenics does not keep your body forever or says "we already get paid get rid of the stiff".


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .