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The most entertaining cases of mummification in recent centuries
The most entertaining cases of mummification in recent centuries
Mummy of Buddhist monk Luang Pho Daeng

Burials associated with body mummification are commonly associated with Ancient Egypt. However, history knows a lot of facts when people who died in the 19th and 20th centuries were embalmed. The most extraordinary cases of mummification are discussed further in the review.

A loser criminal turned embalmed mannequin

Book cover with the life of Elmer McCurdy

Elmer McCurdy is called a loser criminal. Every time he went “to work,” something was not always asked: either the amount of nitroglycerin for explosives was incorrectly calculated, then the train for the robbery was confusing. Ultimately, a dead drunk McCurdy was killed by the police in a shootout.

When the body was taken to the funeral home, none of the relatives came to pick it up. Then the undertaker, using arsenic, embalmed the body and, putting it in a coffin, put it in a shop window for advertising. This happened in 1911, when traveling circuses and exhibitions were popular, in which all kinds of human wonders were demonstrated. Many owners of such establishments came to the undertaker, wanting to buy the criminal's mummy, but he did not want to sell it. However, adventurers, who identified themselves as the McCurdy brothers, showed up, and the body had to be given.

Photos of Elmer McCurdy's mummy in 1911 and 1926

The mummy was resold for a long time, used as a decoration, a mannequin, and, in the end, in 1976, it ended up in the Pike amusement park in Long Beach (California, USA). By that time, everyone had long forgotten that this body was real. Now Elmer McCurdy's remains were painted yellow and played the role of a gallows in front of the fear room. One of the workers, moving the supposedly wax dummy, damaged it. He broke off either a finger or a hand, and to his horror saw a bone sticking out of his body.

A monk who turned into a mummy on his own

Buddhist monk Luang Pho Daeng, who was able to mummify himself

On the island of Koh Samui there is a Buddhist temple Wat Khunaram. Tourists and pilgrims from all over the world come there not only to visit the architectural monument, but also to look at the main attraction of the island - the mummy of the monk Luang Pho Daeng.

The future abbot of the temple was born in 1894. When he was 20 years old, Luang Pho Daeng took monastic vows and devoted several years to serving in the temple. Then the Buddhist returned to worldly life, got married, had six children. When the children grew up, Luang decided to return to religious service. The monk spent the rest of his life studying the postulates of Buddhism and meditation practices.

Mummy of Buddhist monk Luang Pho Daeng

When the monk, who had already become the abbot of the temple, realized that the end was near, he called his disciples and explained how they should deal with his body. If it starts to decompose, then Luang will need to be cremated. If the body remains incorrupt, place it in a glass box and put it on display in order to strengthen the faith of the pilgrims.

A few days before his death, Luang gave up food and drink and devoted himself entirely to meditation. On May 6, 1973, the monk died in the lotus position, as he himself predicted. For more than forty years, his body has remained incorrupt. Scientists are trying to find an explanation for this phenomenon. They argue that it's all about the monk's diet, because a few years before his death, he radically changed his diet.

The Sleeping Beauty in the Capuchin Catacombs

The mummy of a two-year-old girl Rosalia Lombardo

The last burial in the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo (Italy) was the body of a 2-year-old girl Rosalia Lombardo in 1920. The child died of pneumonia. Heartbroken father turned to Alfredo Salafia, a famous embalmer.He agreed to mummify the girl.

The coffin with Rosalia Lombardo is placed in an airtight container

The girl's body was placed in a glass coffin. Looking at her curls, eyelashes, a bow on her head, it seems that the child is just sleeping. The body remained incorrupt for almost a hundred years, but in the mid-2000s it began to deteriorate. Scientists decided that the coffin should be made airtight and moved to the drier part of the catacombs. READ MORE …

Unique "potion" for instant mummification

Gottfried Knoche is a German physician who created the recipe for an instant mummification serum

In the middle of the 19th century, German physician Gottfried Knoche emigrated from Germany to Venezuela, where civil wars were fought at the time. The warriors who died during the battles became excellent material for the doctor's experiments on body mummification. Eventually, he developed a unique embalming potion that did not require the removal of internal organs from the body.

Returning to Germany, Gottfried Knoche continued his experiments. When he felt his end approaching, he instructed his faithful nurse Amelie to inject "mummifying serum" into his still living (!) Body. After that, the doctor immediately retired to the family crypt and froze there forever. Scientists have tried to figure out the composition of the substance based on aluminum chloride, but to no avail.

Most contemporaries have a very superficial understanding of ancient mummies. However, historical chronicles preserved there are many facts about mummies that are much more curious than cinematic fiction.

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