Why Do We Bury Dead Bodies Six Feet Under

I have pondered on this for a while so I decided to make a little research.
The "six-feet" idiom came to be during the Great Plague of London in 1665. With 20 percent of London’s population succumbing to the Bubonic plague, the death rate had reached over 8,000 per week. The disease continued to sweep the country due in part to the shallow graves that bodies were buried in, or so they believed at the time.
In an effort to limit the outbreak, The Lord Mayor of London enacted a series of rules in regard to the plague, which included a mandate that all graves be buried a minimum of six feet deep.
The law fell into disuse for a time as dead bodies were not responsible for the spread of the disease.
The law was eventually overturned in England and its colonies, but this didn’t last long. By the 19th century medical science had seen a huge increase in the use of human cadavers for teaching purposes. While most bodies used were executed criminals, the indigent or donated bodies, the increasing demand led to a shortage of corpses. This demand created a new type of criminal, the Resurrectionists; criminals who stole corpses, also known as “body snatching.”
Grave robbing became a lucrative business.

Grave robbing became a very profitable business. Some grave robbers were able to dig up four corpses per night in less than two hours to sell to the medical colleges. They could perform this task so quickly because during this period many bodies were buried only six inches below the surface. As the fear of being exhumed and displayed in an anatomical theatre for dissection haunted the aristocracy, the law reverted to the old standard of being buried six feet deep.
Modern American burial laws vary from state to state, with many states requiring just a minimum of 18 inches of soil on top of the casket or burial vault. Given an 18-inch dirt buffer and the height of the average casket, a grave as shallow as four feet would be sufficient, but old habits die hard and six feet deep is now standard.
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