Fact List History Humans

29 Interesting Facts About Mummies

Here are 29 Interesting Mummy facts.

1-5 Mummy Facts

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1. When the mummy of Ramses II was sent to France in the mid-1970s, it was actually issued a legal Egyptian passport. Ramses’ occupation was mentioned as “King (deceased).” – Source

2. The rumor that mummies were used as fuel for trains in Egypt was started by Mark Twain. – Source

3. “Mummy Brown” was a once-popular paint pigment made from ground-up Egyptian mummies. It was produced well into the 20th century and only disappeared when the manufacturers ran out of mummies. – Source

4. Mummy Juanita is the well-preserved frozen body of an Incan girl who was sacrificed to the gods around 500 years ago. Her body was so well preserved that scientists were able to confirm that she ate vegetables 6-8 hours before her death. – Source

5. Traces of nicotine and cocoa have been found in Ancient Egyptian mummies. – Source

6-10 Mummy Facts

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6. In DNA tests of Tutankhamun’s mummy, scientists found DNA from the mosquito-borne parasites that cause malaria. This is currently the oldest known genetic proof of the disease. – Source

7. “Frankenstein” mummies were found in Scotland. 2 bodies made out of 6 people. – Source

8. Sokushinbutsu refers to the Buddhist act of self-mummification, a process which takes up to 10 years. – Source

9. In 1979, a mummified steppe bison named Blue Babe was discovered in Alaska. While preparing the specimen for display, the research team decided to stew and eat part of the mummy’s neck to “celebrate the accomplishment”. – Source

10. In 1976 during the filming of an episode of the Six Million Dollar Man, the crew discovered the mummified corpse of Elmer McCurdy, an Oklahoma outlaw being used as a fun-house prop. – Source

11-15 Mummy Facts

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11. During Roman times, Egyptian mummies were sometimes accompanied with a realist portrait of the dead painted on wooden boards. About 900 of these portraits are known to exist. – Source

12. 2,000 – 5,000-year-old mummies have been found in China that were exclusively Caucasoid, or Europoid. – Source

13. The oldest known tattoos were discovered, using UV light, on a 5,000-year-old mummy. – Source

14. Scientists diagnosed a 2250-year old Egyptian mummy with metastatic prostate cancer. – Source

15. One of the hikers who found “Ötzi,” a 5000-year-old mummy buried in ice in the Alps, was found dead, buried in ice, after a hiking accident in 2004. He is one of 7 people linked to the mummy to have died within the same year. – Source

16-20 Mummy Facts

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16. There is a bone fragment displayed in a museum of Chinon that was once reputed to belong to Joan of Arc. A 2008 study showed that the bone actually came from an Egyptian mummy. – Source

17. Ancient Nubian mummies were found to have the modern antibiotic Tetracycline in their bones. They got it from beer. – Source

18. The most well-preserved mummy (The Lady Dai) was wrapped in 20 layers of silk, 4 coffins each sealed with raw lacquer, encased in a huge burial chamber surrounded by 5 tons of charcoal, and a thick layer of clay in an inverted pyramid 12 meters deep. – Source

19. Clogged arteries, which are considered a hallmark symptom of the modern unhealthy lifestyle, have been found in ancient mummies. – Source

20. Evidence from mummies suggests blond Caucasians lived in parts of China 3000 years ago and probably predate Asian migrations to certain regions. – Source

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