From Cowell to Britney, celebs who want to be frozen and brought back to life

Queen's Freddie Mercury once asked, "Who wants to live forever?"

Simon Cowell, Paris Hilton, and a range of other superrich celebs do, apparently.

From Silicon Valley to the X-Factor, thousands of the A-list elite have reportedly signed up to expensive 'cryonics' (aka cryogenics) schemes to have their bodies and brains frozen after they die in the hope of being 'reanimated' deep in the future.

While nobody has successfully died, been frozen, defrosted, and brought back to life just yet, millionaires and billionaires alike are keeping the faith by signing up to expensive 'cryonics' schemes.

These schemes run special ambulances that rush the newly-deceased to super-cold tanks and keep them on ice so that one day, they might live again.

So let's take a look at who's actually planning a dunk into the deep freezer and answer the question: is cryonics even scientifically possible?

Did Walt Disney freeze himself cryogenically?

Perhaps the most famous cryonics legend is that of Walt Disney.

Since his death in 1966, it's been rumoured that the head of the Mickey Mouse creator was frozen in liquid nitrogen after his death so that scientists could bring him back to life when the technology becomes available in hundreds of years.

Sadly, the 2100s are unlikely to see the famed animator and FBI informant return to the silver screen. Despite running Futurama gags, Disney's family have strongly denied all claims that he was ever frozen.

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“There is absolutely no truth that my father, Walt Disney, wished to be frozen," Disney's daughter, Diane, said in her biography. "I doubt that my father had ever heard of cryonics.”

The rumours were also denied by Dennis Kowalski, the president of the Cryonics Institute. He said: "We have heard of this rumour as well and we can confirm that it is not true."

Indeed, Disney's death certificate says he was cremated, which is the complete opposite of being frozen.

Simon Cowell wanted to be cryogenically frozen, but got cold feet

Even 'The X Factor' judges can't resist the lure of eternal life. American Idol head honcho Simon Cowell reportedly told guests at a dinner hosted by former PM Gordon Brown that he had decided to be put on ice.

Cowell reportedly told an audience including Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden in 2009 that: "I have decided to freeze myself when I die. You know, cryonics. You pay a lot of money and you get stuck in a deep freeze once you've been declared dead."

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"Medical science is bound to work out a way of bringing us back to life in the next century or so, and I want to be available when they do. I would be doing the nation an invaluable service."

However, Cowell has since gotten cold feet (not literally) about the idea.

On America's Got Talent last year, the cold-blooded music judge told the cameras that he doesn't want to go through with it.

"By the way, I don't want to freeze myself anymore. No one told me you have to chop your head off," he said.

Britney and Paris Hilton are still game for cryonic freezing

So Simon Cowell and Disney may have pulled out, but there's still growing popularity among the wealthy 1% to undergo the procedure.

Around 2000 people have reportedly signed up to the procedure at one centre of the US-based Cryonics Institute for a price around £150,000.

The Cryonics Institute president, Denis Kowalski, told the Daily Star: "We have billionaires, Hollywood celebs and top surgeons on our books," he said.

"160 bodies are already frozen at our institute, and over 100 pets!"

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Britney Spears is reportedly one of the people who have signed up for a 'bus ticket to the future'. Finally free from her conservatorship, she may now be able to perform Toxic when she's 1000 years old.

Paris Hilton is also said to have signed up for the procedure, and wants to be frozen with her dogs Tinkerbell and Cinderella.

Where can I get cryogenically frozen?

If you've got cash to splash, there are cryonic organisations in the US and Russia that could freeze you.

If you pay the £150,000 price tag at the US Cryonics Institute, you'll be picked up by a special ambulance upon your death. All your blood will be removed and replaced with a sort of embalming fluid designed to keep your organs intact.

You'll be dunked in a tank full of liquid nitrogen which needs the occasional top-up.

Once you're frozen, it's just a waiting game until the unspecified date at which science works out how to revive the dead.

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Those who sign up for a lifetime membership at the Cryonics Institute can also get their spouse onboard for half price, and underage children go free.

Other cryonics organisations such as Alcor offer membership based models, where you pay a monthly fee of around £41.50 per month on top of a life insurance policy and a fixed price tag.

If you want a cheap deal, Russian cryopreservation company KrioRus will freeze your whole body for £27,000, or you can just get your head done for a bargain at £13,000.

If you can't afford the steep price tag yourself, you can always just freeze your pets. The Cryonics Institute reportedly has more than 110 pets on ice.

Do cryogenics actually work?

For such an expensive service promising major life extension, there is relatively little meat on the bones for most cryonics services.

Due to the fact we don't currently have the technology needed to revive the frozen dead, cryonics is a largely experimental science based on the assumption that the tools for the job will eventually materialise.

On its website, AIcor explains that it is possible to preserve human organs and bodies effectively. "Vitrification" can be used to turn body parts into 'glassy solids' which don't get damaged by ice.

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The company also argue that 'molecular nanotechnology' which can restore the damage done by death and the cryonic process will one day be feasible. This technology does not currently exist.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has speculated previously that cryonics could one day be possible. He told an online 'Ask Me Anything':

"Assuming that the brain is frozen quickly after death, then I think you probably could extract quite a lot of information from it in the future. And you might be able to create something approximating that person."

"I mean there's gonna be a few issues obviously. But the brain is very physical. It's much less mysterious than people think."

However, mainstream scientists are slightly more sceptical. Even if deep-future scientists are able to revive bodies, there's the question of how to restore consciousness and memory to a person who's been dead for possibly hundreds of years.

So while freezing people isn't a challenge, defrosting them is a different story.

  • Disney
  • Simon Cowell
  • FBI
  • Family

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