The Eternal Rest: 45 Insightful Facts About Mummies and their Cultural Significance 2

26Oldest Cheese & Mummies

Oldest Cheese & Mummies

The oldest cheese ever found was on the necks and chests of Chinese mummies, which have been dated back to 1615 B.C.

27. Mummies are sometimes used in medicine to calibrate CAT scan machines.

28. Benito Mussolini was highly superstitious and anti-clerical. After he learned about the "Curse of the Pharaohs," he ordered the immediate removal of an Egyptian mummy from Palazzo Chigi in Rome which he had accepted as a gift.

29. As late as 1000 B.C. lions idled on the banks of the Nile and even in palaces as domesticated pets for the royals. Yet, it is very rare to discover lion mummies in Egypt. Only one lion mummy has ever been found by Egyptologists.

30. In 1932, while digging for gold in the San Pedro Mountains in Wyoming, two prospectors found a mummy of a small person. Rumors came about the mummy whether it was a hoax, a baby, or an ancient "little person." The mummy was lost and is still missing to this day.

31Windover Bog Mummies

Windover Bog Mummies

The Windover Archeological Site is a small muck pond 5 miles from Cape Canaveral that contained the remains from 168 humans buried in clusters, in five or six episodes scattered over a thousand years during the archaic period. Radiocarbon dating of these bog mummies suggests they are maybe 7000 to 8000 years old.

32. Centuries after Alexander the great's death, his tomb was a tourist attraction. Many of the Roman emperors who visited the tomb left with souvenirs, effectively looting the monument. According to one account, Augustus Caesar tried to touch the 300-year-old mummy, accidentally breaking its nose.

33. Egyptian pharaohs were often fat. They had high-sugar diets that were rich in bread, honey, beer, and wine. Examinations of various royal mummies show that many suffered from obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Hatshepsut, Egypt's most famous woman pharaoh, was obese and had tooth decay.

34. No mummies have yet been found within the Great Pyramid of Giza.

35. In 1867, a jar was found in a Paris pharmacy with the inscription "Remains found under the stake of Joan of Arc, virgin of Orleans." Carbon14 tests and various spectroscopic analyses were performed, and the results determined that the remains come from an Egyptian mummy from the 6th century B.C.

36Lazarus Reflex

Lazarus Reflex

The Lazarus Reflex is a reflex movement in brain dead patients which causes them to briefly raise their arms and drop them crossed on their chests in a position similar to some Egyptian mummies. The reflex is often preceded by slight shivering motions of the arms, followed by goosebumps.

37. During the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, the Egyptian Museum was broken into, and two mummies were destroyed.

38. Luang Pho Daeng was a Thai Buddhist monk who through the process of self-mummification died during meditation and was put on display in his temple to inspire future generations to follow Buddhist teachings. He is the only known mummy to be wearing sunglasses, making his faceless disturbing.

39. When researchers used infrared cameras on ancient Egyptian mummies, they uncovered tattoo art on them, which they had no idea about previously.

40. In early 2000s, archeologists in Scotland discovered what they nicknamed ‘Frankenstein’ mummies. Two 3,000-year-old Scottish "bog bodies" they found were actually made from the remains of six people. The bodies had been buried in the fetal position nearly 300 to 600 years after their death.

41Incorruptible Saint

Incorruptible Saint

The Catholic Church possesses ‘Incorruptible Saints,’ whose bodies are miraculously preserved after death, defying the normal process of decomposition. Some of them are over hundreds of years old and unlike other mummies, their bodies are pliable and apparently, no embalming has taken place.

42. Mark Twain initiated the hoax about mummies being burned as fuel in the Egyptian steam trains.

43. Sections of a 2500-year-old Greek play believed to have been lost forever in the fire that destroyed the Great Library of Alexandria were rediscovered on papyrus stuffed inside an Egyptian mummy. The pages were later translated and used in an actual play that was presented to audiences.

44. When Dr. Augustus Granville presented the results of his dissection of an Ancient Egyptian Mummy at the Royal Institution in the 1820s, he exhibited his specimens by the light of candles made from what he thought was a preserving wax scraped from his mummy. It wasn't, it was corpse wax.

45. Ferdinand I, King of Naples, used to embalm the bodies of his enemies to create a "museum of mummies" that he would often show his guests.