HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
Fact or Fiction: Coffins and Caskets
by Staff
We read about them in books and see them on the silver screen, but what's the real deal on coffins? Test your knowledge of the realities and myths that surround these creepy containers with this fact-or-fiction quiz.

"Coffin" is the preferred term for burial receptacles in the American funeral industry.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

The words "coffin" and "casket" both referred at one time to types of baskets.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

A coffin prevents a deceased body from decaying.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

Cremation ovens are powerful enough to break down even metal coffins.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

American culture puts more emphasis on elaborate coffins than English and Australian cultures do.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

The hanging coffins of the Bo people in China date back to as early as 770 B.C.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

The Bo people probably chose to place hanging coffins in high-up caves and on cliffs to protect their dead from enemies.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

The Jewish faith dictates that coffins should be as opulent as the deceased's family can afford.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

The Ghanain people bury their dead in coffins that are decorated to reflect the deceased's interests or career.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

Body snatchers broke into graves in order to steal any valuables a body might have been buried with.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

During the body snatching era, families who could not afford precautions like iron cages and guards for family members' gravesites sometimes filled their loved ones' graves with stones to deter body snatchers.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

A coffin with a permeable seal is safer than one with an impermeable seal.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

Taphophobia is the diagnosed fear of vampires.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

According to ancient Egyptian beliefs, the Egyptian Coffin Texts, which evolved from the Pyramid Text, allowed all Egyptian people access to spells that would help them pass into the afterlife.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

The Egyptian Coffin Texts represent the first known description of a culture's cosmology.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

Vampire lore holds that vampires remain stiff and cold while sleeping in coffins during the day, and then reanimate at night.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

Some cultures believe that it is preferable to go into debt as opposed to giving a family member a cheap or substandard funeral.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

The word pall can refer to both a cloth draped over a coffin and a general feeling of gloom.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

King Tutankhamen, more commonly known as King Tut, was interred in three caskets.

  • Fact
  • Fiction

If a body is being cremated, most families choose not to purchase a coffin.

  • Fact
  • Fiction