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Podcast: Why Sky Burials Are Vanishing in Mongolia

In this episode of Generation Anthropocene, urbanization and environmental decline put a sacred ritual for the dead at risk

Wild vultures in Mongolia are key components of sky burials. (Totajla/iStock)
smithsonian.com

In this episode of Generation Anthropocene, student reporter Reade Levinson travels to Mongolia in hopes of witnessing a practice known as sky burial, in which the bodies of the dead are prepared for the afterlife. But as Reade learns on her journey, in Mongolia the forces of urbanization, modernization and environmental change may be threatening this sacred ritual.

This piece is a collaboration between Generation Anthropocene and the Stanford Storytelling project.

Related podcasts by Generation Anthropocene:

Creating an Equation for Cities May Solve Ecological Conundrums

How a Farming Project in Brazil Turned Into a Social and Ecological Tragedy

How Geography Shaped Societies, From Neanderthals to iPhones

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