Mobsters in movies love to say that they’re going to put people “six feet under” to imply that their associates are about to be nice and dead…
…but is there a reason why the bodies are supposed to be six feet below the surface?
The people at Today I Found Out now have an answer to this morbid question. In the process of figuring it out, they discovered that these regulations aren’t as standard as we tend to think.
Although the phrase “six feet under” is thrown around a lot, the truth about burial restrictions is that they vary by region.
In fact, some areas allow graves to be as shallow as two feet from the surface…where other communities encourage graves to be a whopping 12 feet deep (to allow room for the burial of relatives). For the most part, being buried “six feet under” is a commonly-used phrase and nothing more.
Many think that the phrase may have originated during the Great Plague of 1665 in London…
The thought is that bodies were ordered to be buried at least six feet underground to prevent the spread of the disease. However, it’s been proven that the plague couldn’t spread from corpses to the living, so this theory has been thrown out.
The bottom line is: grave depths vary. A lot.
It might be an arbitrary phrase, but I kind of wish it were put into practice more, since that would help prevent zombies from getting to us.