Sleeping beauty mystery: the mummy that winks at tourists
Sleeping beauty mystery: the mummy that winks at tourists
The Sleeping Beauty is a perfectly preserved mummy of a 2-year-old girl

Baby's angelic face Rosalia Lombardo bewitches with beauty. Plump lips, tender cheeks and closed eyes - she has been like this for almost a century. The body of two-year-old Rosalia was embalmed using a special technology, and today "Sleeping Beauty" considered the best-preserved mummy in the world. However, this mummy has its own secret, which shocks everyone who dares to look at it.

The mummy of Rosalia Lombardo

Baby Rosalia was only two years old when she died of pneumonia in 1920. The inconsolable father, not knowing how to survive the pain of loss, turned to the famous embalmer and taxidermist Alfred Salafia for help with a request to save the body of the angel-like child. The specialist coped with the task perfectly: for a whole century the body of the crumbs lay in the burial catacombs in Palermo (Italy). The girl's body looked fine, it seemed that she fell asleep for a while and was about to wake up. Chubby cheeks, elegant hairstyles with a bow - Rosalia looked as if she were alive.

Modern research on the mummy

When scientists discovered Rosalia's mummified body, they gave her the name "Sleeping Beauty." Having illuminated the body with X-rays, they were amazed: the internal organs remained incorrupt. Today, the body of Rosalia Lombardo is considered one of the best-preserved mummies in the world.

Sleeping beauty body on x-ray

Rosalia's mummy also has its own mystery: visitors who come with a tour of the catacombs claim that you can see how the little girl opens her blue eyes. What they see causes fear among tourists. According to one of the versions, the "winking" effect occurs due to changes in temperature inside the crypt, the skin of the eyelids shrinks, opening the pupils. However, the curator of the exhibition, Dario Piombino-Mascali, believes that winking eyes are an optical illusion. As the sun illuminates the catacombs, the rays fall on the girl's face so that her eyes look ajar. This phenomenon can be observed several times throughout the day. Dario found the answer in 2009, when the museum workers moved the girl's coffin, and it became clear that the eyelids were ajar.

The sleeping beauty winks at the visitors of the catacombs

It is also interesting that Dario found the relatives of the talented embalmer, and they have preserved documents with a detailed description of the procedure for embalming the body. Instead of removing all internal organs, Alfred Salafia made a puncture in the body and gradually injected substances one after another that ensured the ideal preservation of the body over time. Formalin killed bacteria, glycerin was used to prevent drying out of the body, salicylic acid was used as an antifungal agent. In addition, Salafia used zinc chloride to fossilize the body, and subsequently there were no holes in the cheeks and nasal cavity.

Mummy of Rosalia Lombardo in the burial catacombs The Sleeping Beauty is a perfectly preserved mummy of a 2-year-old girl

The Sleeping Beauty is one of the eight thousand mummies that are in Capuchin catacombs in Sicily.

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