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Israel is building vertical cemeteries

Israel is, as The Associated Press so aptly put it, literally raising the dead.

Plans to build vertical cemeteries were developed in Asia, and Israel has given the idea the go-ahead. Israeli rabbis have even declared the practice kosher, saying it is "the most effective Jewish practice in an era when most of the cemeteries in major population centers are packed full."

(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

Israel is spearheading the vertical cemetery movement with its flagship Yarkon Cemetery outside Tel Aviv, but it's also starting a global trend — the high-rise cemeteries are appearing in Brazil and Japan, too. Brazil, in fact, is home to the world's tallest existing cemetery, the Memorial Necropole Ecumenica in Santos, which is an astounding 32 stories high.

While the idea may seem odd or even alarming, high-rise cemeteries could be the way of the future, as burial grounds become more and more crowded across the world. "The source of all this is that there is simply no room," Tuvia Sagiv, an architect who specializes in dense burial design, told AP. "If we have already agreed to live one on top of the other, then we can die one on top of the other."