Josh Gates ‘peers into immortality’ at Russian cryonics lab on Expedition Unknown: Search for the Afterlife

On Sunday’s episode of Expedition Unknown with Josh Gates, it’s all about how cultures and countries deal with the looming inevitability of death and what occurs afterwards.

Monsters and Critics’ exclusive clip shows the Russian leg of Josh Gates’ death tour, as he investigates how you can pay to freeze yourself — in the hope somebody in the future figures out how to defrost you alive successfully.

The episode also sees Gates travel to Indonesia to witness a death ritual which few understand or even know of in the West.

But our frigid clip is a detour to Russia where Gates learns how the afterlife is monetized on the hopes the dead can be somehow revived.

It's a chilly afterlife in Russia for some rich dead people. Pic credit: Discovery
It’s a chilly afterlife in Russia for some rich dead people. Pic credit: Discovery

The footage sees us head to KrioRus, a state-of-the-art facility in Russia. Bodies are stored in liquid nitrogen at negative 320 degrees Fahrenheit. And not only humans — according to their website they preserve dead pets too.

Gates is told by the owner/operator Igor Artyukhov that there are 59 people currently frozen in the cryonics facility. KrioRus is the only place like it in Europe.

Each of the flags on display represents the country of a well-heeled customer stored in their custom cryotanks.

What’s the cost of this service, you may wonder? According to KrioRus:

“In this case we preserve the brain or head of the patient, at their behest, having made as far as possible the best qualitative perfusion and having provided maximally reliable storage. The body of the patient may be buried or cremated after perfusion or even donated to science and medicine. Such additional expenses may not be included in the cryonics fees. Cost of neuropreservation is 18000 USD for remote cryopreservation (abroad) (or equivalent in roubles or other currency).

The website adds:

Finance and payment plans are flexible. But a lump sum payment when making arrangements and signing up is recommended. This option provides the greatest assurance to cryopatients, oneself or ones loved ones, affording and assuring all rights to treatment, paid in full with no unresolved finances or lingering financial burdens during time of crisis and confusion.

Gates also explains to viewers how cryonics is the nascent science of preserving human beings in extremely cold temperatures with the hopes of reviving them later.

At this particular lab, the customers vary. Some are fully intact bodies, some are heads, and then there are just individual brains preserved by Igor, the man who runs the show.

In our exclusive clip his assistant shares that his mother’s brain is among those frozen in the facility.

Josh jokes about the irony of it being run by someone called Igor, but Igor is a serious businessman and is seen taking the temperature of the tanks to ensure the nitrogen levels are high to keep people in the popsicle state.

Gates also gets to check on the dead that are preserved in huge dairy-like tanks, making sure the temperature is cold enough.

Also on tonight’s episode, Josh visits the remote tribe in Indonesia with a unique death ritual before traveling down the Amazon river to try the mind-bending plant-based hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca. As a bonus for viewers, magician Penn Jillette also “puts a new spin on the afterlife”.

Expedition Unknown airs Sundays at 10 pm followed by Expedition Unknown: After the Search at 11 pm on Discovery Channel. Viewers can watch live or catch up on the Discovery Go app.

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