I found this funny and fascinating article regarding unusual headstones. Here are the top five. Visit the article to see the rest.
A grave marker is how people will remember you long after everyone you know has passed, so you'd better make it good. When done well, it can provide a sense of one's style in life. The epitaph should be pithy, the shape and style memorable. You could go for the classic granite slab, or, like these deceased, opt for something a little more memorable.
To bury oneself under a headstone in the shape of a shark, say, or a palace-sized tomb carved out of a giant boulder, you'd have to be a little extraordinary. Often the stories that accompany these tombstones are larger than life. And death too, for that matter.
1. John Paul Jones' Crypt
John Paul Jones Crypt
The crypt of John Paul Jones on display at the United States Naval Academy. (Photo: Kevin H. Tierney/US Navy/Public Domain) Jones rests in a extravagant sarcophagus below the chapel of the United States Naval Academy. The incredible coffin is covered in sculpted barnacles and is held up by bronze dolphins. The whole thing is sculpted out of a black and white marble that makes it look as though it has been weathered by untold ages beneath the waves—not so far from the truth.
2. Davis Memorial
The Davis Memorial.
The Davises were a simple but highly successful Kansas farming family. When Sarah Davis passed way in 1930 her burial site was marked with a simple headstone that reflected the quiet life she and her husband had led, despite the vast wealth they had accrued. But soon after Sarah had been placed in the ground, John had her stone removed and replaced with a marble statue, which was just the beginning. Over the next decade John installed 11 total marble or granite statues, many of which depicted Sarah as a young woman, an old woman, and even as an angel. There was also a statue of John resting in comfortable armchair next to an identical, empty armchair. All of these are arranged in a haphazard manner, facing in all different directions.
The cost of the memorial became astronomical, which upset a great number of Hiawathans suffering under the poverty of the Great Depression in a small town that did not even have a hospital. Many believed that John was simply trying to squander his fortune so that Sarah's family, who had always hated the man, could not touch it. Still others believed that he was simply an eccentric with a permanently broken heart.
3. Jules Verne's Tomb
Jules Verne's tomb.
It's fitting that Jules Verne, father of science fiction, would have a dark, otherworldly gravestone. Two years after his death a sculpture entitled “Vers l'Immortalité et l'Eternelle Jeunesse” (“Towards Immortality and Eternal Youth”) was erected atop his marker. Designed by sculptor Albert Roze, and using the actual death mask of the writer, the statue depicts the shrouded figure of Jules Verne breaking his own tombstone and emerging from the grave.
4. Jesus in Cowboy Boots
Willet Babcock's grave
Willet Babcock was a furniture and casket maker by trade, and ended up in Paris, Texas where his factory and downtown store put him squarely in the center of respected Parisians. Before he died, in 1881, he ordered himself an impressive memorial from a master-stonecutter, a German immigrant named Gustave Klein, who carved some of the more ornate markers at Evergreen. Along with some typical memorial elements—carved wreaths, a cross, an angelic figure in robes—Babcock gave his final presentation to the world a little Texas twang. Jesus is sporting cowboy boots.
There is debate about whether it really is Jesus. Some say the face is too feminine (there is no beard) and he (she?) appears to be leaning on the cross rather than carrying it. But whoever the angel in robes was intended to represent, the memorial has long since been dubbed “Jesus in Cowboy Boots.”
5. Lycian Rock Tombs
The Ancient Lycians believed that their dead were carried to the afterlife by angels from the heavens. To facilitate this ascent they placed their honored dead in geographically high places, like this cliffside. The tombs, many of which date back to the 4th century, are guarded by massive entryways adorned with tall Romanesque columns and intricate reliefs. The oldest tombs are often no more than unremarked holes dug into the rock. Despite the external grandeur, the interior of the tombs are spare chambers cut into the rock with a simple monolith inside to display the body. The rooms are otherwise empty from hundreds of years of looting.