It looks like Albania's capital of Tirana is struggling with a problem I've wondered about for a long time: they're running out of cemetary space.

Tirana municipality has shut down one of the city's two cemeteries and said the other has space for only one more week. It blames the government for holding up the expropriation of nearby land that would add space for two years' worth of graves. ...

Most Albanians see black humor in the situation.

"Could you spare some space for me?" an old lady asks the gravediggers in one popular joke. "Of course, just don't be too late," they answer.

There's certainly an enormous amount of unused land in the world, but the problem is that most of it is very remote. Not many families will want to bury their loved ones 100 miles deep into the desert, jungle, or tundra. Cemetaries take up a lot of space, people want them close (but not too close), and once they're built they last pretty much forever (or until your civilization collapses). Maybe we should start burying people vertically or in layers.



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