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Sky Burials: Tradition Becomes Controversial Tourist Attraction

In the ancient practice of Tibetan sky burial, a human corpse is placed on a mountaintop to be eaten by birds of prey, most commonly vultures. The tradition, a sustainable burial method, symbolizes the impermanence of life for Buddhists. The ceremonies have recently begun to attract tourists, who take photographs and videos of these burials. In this excerpt from Vultures of Tibet, director Russell O. Bush explores the ethics that surround sky burial tourism.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email sfs@natgeo.com. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.