The practice of self-mummification, once performed by Buddhist monks in Japan. The monk would start by eating only nuts and seeds to strip them of their body fat, then move to drinking tea made from the urushi tree. The poisonous tea would cause vomiting to further their weight loss, as well as help dissuade insects from disturbing their body after death.
Was the wife of Li Chang (Marquis of Dai, Han Dynasty). She didn’t really become all that well known until 2,000 years after her death. Her body was found within a tomb in Changsha Hunan, China. Her body was extremely well preserved. She was wrapped in 20 layers of fine silk, submerged in an “elixir of immortality” ,encased in FOUR coffins which were sorrounded by FIVE TONS of charcoal; all of this 50 feet under-ground.
Her body is considered one of the best preserved bodies (I wonder why), as her skin was soft and moist when found, her arms and legs were still flexible, organs still in-tact, AND her blood was still liquefied.
Rosalia Lombardo died in 1920, when she was just two years old. Her tiny body in perfectly preserved in the Capuchin convent in Palermo, Sicily, and she is thought to be one of the best preserved mummies in the world. Strangely, sometimes she can be seen to open and close her eyes as if she were awakening from a long sleep. Many witnesses are convinced that this is evidence of the paranormal, others say it is an optical illusions caused by light passing over her. Regardless, it is enough to give anyone the creeps!
The Mummies of Venzone, Italy. A fungus grows in the Cathedral graves there that dehydrates a body in one year and makes the skin parchmentlike. Since the bodies were so recognizable, sometimes villagers would retrieve their loved ones for some quality time.
When dealing with ancient mummified remains, archaeologists are understandably wary. Mummies are an incredible resource for learning more about long-dead civilizations, but too much handling could cause serious damage.
At London’s Wellcome Collection, this problem is solved using a hospital CT scanner. After a quick trip to the scanning room, researchers can examine the mummies in detail without performing any physically invasive procedures.