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Top 10 Famous Mummified Bodies

[Congratulations! This is the second prize winning entry in our 2009 Christmas Competition.]

[WARNING: This article contains graphic photographs of mummified bodies.]A mummy is a corpse whose body has been preserved by either intentional or incidental exposure to chemicals, extreme cold, very low humidity, or lack of air. Mummies of humans and animals have been found throughout the world – both as a result of having been embalmed and because of natural preservation through unusual conditions. Many mummies are thousands of years old and are famous because of the intriguing circumstances of the death or the remarkable preservation of the body. The following are ten of the most fascinating mummies, (mainly because of the story behind them or the incredible preservation of the body) most of which are still viewable today.

10

Elmer McCurdy

Mccurdy

Elmer McCurdy (January 1880 – October 7th 1911) was an outlaw killed in a gunfight in the Osage Hills in Oklahoma. A newspaper account gave Elmer’s last words as “You’ll never take me alive!” His body was taken to a funeral home in Oklahoma. When no one claimed the corpse, the undertaker embalmed it with an arsenic-based preservative and allowed people to see “The Bandit Who Wouldn’t Give Up” for a nickel, placed in Elmer’s mouth, which the undertaker would collect later. Five years later, a man showed up from a nearby traveling carnival claiming to be Elmer’s long-lost brother wanting to give the corpse a proper burial. Within two weeks, however, Elmer was a featured exhibit with the carnival. For the next 60 years, Elmer’s body was sold to wax museums, carnivals, and haunted houses.

The owner of a haunted house near Mount Rushmore refused to purchase him because he thought that Elmer’s body was actually a mannequin and not lifelike enough. Eventually, the corpse wound up in “The Laff in the Dark” funhouse at the Long Beach Pike amusement park in California. During filming of the The Six Million Dollar Man shot in December 1976, a crew member was moving what was thought to be a wax mannequin that was hanging from a gallows. When the mannequin’s arm broke off, it was discovered that it was in fact the mummified remains of Elmer McCurdy, who was finally buried in the Boot Hill section of the Summit View Cemetery in Guthrie, Oklahoma on April 22nd 1977, with 2 cubic yards of concrete over his casket so his remains would never be disturbed again.

Discover more macabre medical curiosities in the one-of-a-kind Mutter Museum Book of Historical Medical Photographs at Amazon.com!

9

Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir-Lenin-Body

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (10th April 1870 – 21st January 1924) was one of the leading political figures and revolutionary thinkers of the 20th century, who masterminded the Bolshevik take-over of power in Russia in 1917, and was the architect and first head of the USSR. In 1918, he narrowly survived an assassination attempt, but was severely wounded. His long-term health was affected, and in May 1922 he suffered a stroke from which he never fully recovered. In December 1922, he suffered a second stroke that partly paralyzed his right side and caused him to withdraw from active politics. In March 1923, he suffered a third stroke that left him dumb and bed-ridden until he died on 21st of January 1924, aged 53, at his estate in Gorki Leninskiye. His body was embalmed and exhibited in the Lenin Mausoleum, Moscow where it can still be viewed today.


8

Saint Bernadette

Bernprof-4

Saint Bernadette was born Maria-Bernada Sobirós (7th January 1844 – 16th April 1879) and was a miller’s daughter from the town of Lourdes in southern France. Despite her body not being technically mummified, she definitely deserves a place on this list. From February 11th to July 16th 1858, she reported eighteen apparitions of “a small young lady.” Despite initial skepticism from the Catholic Church, these claims were eventually declared to be worthy of belief after a canonical investigation, and the apparition is known as ‘Our Lady of Lourdes’ – the Virgin Mary. After her death, Bernadette’s body remains incorrupt and can be viewed in the Chapel of Saint Bernadette in Nevers. On December 8th, 1933, she was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church.

7

Juanita

Gal06

Juanita (“The Ice Maiden”) was discovered on the summit of Mount Ampato, Peru, on September 8th, 1995. She was 12–14 when sacrificed 500 years ago – a great honour for an Incan – they believed the Ampato God supplied water and withheld avalanches in return for human sacrifices. A young girl, boy and the skeleton of a woman were discovered in later expeditions, as were items left as offerings to the gods. The eruption of nearby volcano Mount. Sabancaya melted 500 years of ice and snow encasing Juanita, who was almost entirely frozen – her skin, internal organs, hair, clothing, blood and even the contents of her stomach preserved, offering scientists a rare glimpse into the life of the Incas. Juanita was wearing clothing resembling the finest textiles from Cuzco and was the closest sacrifice to the Inca capital, suggesting she may have come from a noble Cuzco family.

Juanita was chosen as the most beautiful and innocent and would be ‘guaranteed eternal life with the gods’. As the other bodies were further down the mountain, they were not as pure and worthy as Juanita. It took incredible effort (and whole entourages of priests, villagers, provisions, water, as well as symbolic items used in the ritual – all carried on the backs of hundreds of llamas and porters) to hold sacrificial rituals in the thin air and life-threatening cold of Mount Ampato – 20,000 feet high. Juanita was killed by a powerful blow to the head and was probably given chicha, a strong hallucinogenic drink before the ritual was performed. In 1996, President Clinton saw a photo of Juanita and reportedly said, “If I were a single man, I might ask that mummy out. That’s a good-looking mummy!” Juanita is on display at the Museo Santuarios de Altura in Arequipa, Peru.


6

Ötzi the Iceman

Oetzitheiceman02

Ötzi the Iceman (also known as Similaun Man or Man from Hauslabjoch) is a well-preserved natural mummy of a man from about 3300 BC (53 centuries ago). The mummy was found in September 1991 in the Schnalstal glacier in the Ötztal Alps, near Hauslabjoch, on the border between Austria and Italy. The nickname comes from Ötztal, the region in which he was discovered. He is Europe’s oldest natural human mummy, and has offered an unprecedented view of Chalcolithic (Copper Age) Europeans. The cause of death was most likely a blow to the head. The body and his belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, northern Italy.

5

Ginger

800Px-Bm-Ginger

‘Ginger’ is the nickname given to the naturally preserved body of an adult man (believed to be the earliest known ancient Egyptian “mummified” body), who despite having died more than 5,000 years ago, had perfectly preserved golden hair, and even toe and fingernails. Ginger was found in at Gebelein, Egypt, and dates to the Late Predynastic period, around 3400 BC, or earlier. Before mummification was developed, human remains were placed in shallow graves, in direct contact with the hot, dry sand, which absorbed the water that constitutes 75% of the human weight. Without moisture, bacteria cannot breed and cause decay, and the body is preserved. However, it is uncertain whether Ginger’s mummification was intentional or not, though since Ginger was buried with some pottery vessels it is likely that the mummification was a result of preservation techniques of those burying him. Ginger is currently on display in the British Museum.


4

Tollund Man

T058832A-1

Tollund Man is the naturally mummified corpse of a man (a ‘bog body’) who lived during the 4th century BC during the Pre-Roman Iron Age. He was found in May 1950, buried in a peat bog on the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark, which preserved his body. The head and face were so well-preserved that at the time he was mistaken for a recent murder victim, however, he was later found to have died over 1,500 years ago. Autopsies have shown that the cause of death was hanging – the rope left visible furrows in the skin beneath his chin and at the sides of his neck, however, there was no mark at the back of the neck where the knot of the noose would have been located. The body is displayed at the Silkeborg Museum in Denmark, though only the head is original, and is attached to a replica of the body.

Buy the original semi-classic film The Mummy at Amazon.com!

3

Rosalia Lombardo

Screen Shot 2009-12-22 At 6.37.39 Pm

Rosalia Lombardo was an Italian child born in 1918 in Palermo, Sicily. She died on December 6th 1920 of pneumonia. Rosalia’s father was so sorely grieved upon her death that he approached Dr. Alfredo Salafia, a noted embalmer and taxidermist, to preserve her. She was one of the last corpses to be admitted to the Capuchin catacombs of Palermo, Sicily and one of the most well-known. Her preservation is such that it appears as if she were only sleeping, hence receiving the nickname “Sleeping Beauty”. She is considered one of the world’s best-preserved bodies and it is hard to believe she died nearly 90 years ago. For many years, the formula that preserved her so magnificently was a mystery, but it has recently been discovered that she was injected with a mixture of formalin, zinc salts, alcohol, salicylic acid, and glycerin.

Formalin, now widely used by embalmers, is a mixture of formaldehyde and water that kills bacteria. Dr. Salafia was one of the first to use this for embalming bodies. Alcohol, along with the arid conditions in the catacombs, would have dried Rosalia’s body and allowed it to mummify. Glycerin would have kept her body from drying out too much, and salicylic acid would have prevented the growth of fungi. According to Melissa Williams, executive director of the American Society of Embalmers, it was the zinc salts that were most responsible for Rosalia’s amazing state of preservation. Zinc, which is no longer used by embalmers in the United States, petrified Rosalia’s body. “[Zinc] gave her rigidity. You could take her out of the casket, prop her up, and she would stand by herself.”


2

King Tutankhamun

 22973 Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun (approximately 1341 BC – 1323 BC) was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom. Tutankhamun was 9 years old when he became pharaoh and reigned for approximately 10 years, until his death. Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings (where he still resides) was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922 almost completely intact — the most complete ancient Egyptian royal tomb ever found. Eternal life was the main focus of all Ancient Egyptians, which meant preserving the body forever. Egyptians mummified bodies because they believed in an afterlife. Believing that the afterlife was much like life in this world they had to preserve their bodies so they would be able to use them after they die. Egyptian culture believed the body was home in the afterlife to a person’s Ka, Ba and Akh, without which it would be condemned to eternal wandering.

The Ka was a less solid duplicate of the body. Without a physical body, the soul had no place to dwell and became restless forever. The Ba was able to leave the tomb and revisit the dead person’s haunts in the mortal world. The Akh was the immortal soul that emerged when the Ka and the Ba united after the deceased person passed judgement. The mummification process lasted for a period of 70 days, applied to all classes of Egyptians – rich or poor. The 70-day mummification process was as follows: 15 days spent on cleansing and purification, 40 day drying period and 15 days wrapping and bandaging. Tutankhamun has become one of the most famous Egyptian mummies, his death mask becoming one of the most iconic images of the world today. The cause of Tutankhamun’s death is unclear and is still the root of much speculation.

1

Lady Dai (Xin Zhui)

Chinesemummyladydai

In 1971 workers in China digging an air raid shelter near the city of Changsha uncovered an enormous Han Dynasty-era tomb containing over 1,000 well-preserved artefacts, as well as “the most perfectly preserved corpse ever found”. The tomb belonged to Xin Zhui, wife of the Marquis of Han who died between 178–145 BC, around 50 years of age. Her body is so well preserved that when found it was autopsied as if recently dead and her skin was supple, limbs could be manipulated; hair and internal organs were intact; remains of her last meal were found in her stomach and type A blood still ran red in her veins. Examinations have revealed that she suffered from parasites, lower back pain, clogged arteries, had a massively damaged heart (an indication of heart disease brought on by obesity, lack of exercise and an overly rich diet) and was overweight at the time of her death.

The ‘mystery of Lady Dai’ has not yet been solved. Scientists believe contributing to her remarkable preservation was the 22 dresses of silk and hemp and 9 silk ribbons she was tightly wrapped in. Clothes filled the coffin, which was perfectly sealed, keeping air out. There were inner and outer tombs, which were more than 50 feet below the earth as well as the four coffins she was buried in, each inside the other. However, some scientists suspect the real key to her preservation lies in the mysterious unidentified reddish liquid found in the coffin she was discovered in. To intensify the mystery, two other tombs containing bodies in a similar state of preservation have been found close to Lady Dai – Sui Xiaoyuan and Ling Huiping. Her 2,000-year-old body is currently housed in the Hunan Provincial Museum.

Bonus

Ancient Pompeiians

Plaster Cast-Pompeii

One of the morbidly fascinating results of the 79 A.D. eruption of Vesuvius is the number of holes found in the volcanic deposits around Pompeii, representing the corpses of people and animals killed by the pyroclastic flow and buried by the hot ash. The ash solidified before the corpses decayed so a mould of Vesuvius’s victims remained. Early in the excavation, Giuseppe Fiorelli discovered that filling these moulds with plaster resulted in highly accurate and eerie forms of the doomed who failed to escape, their last moment of life captured forever, the expression of terror often clearly visible. It is impossible to imagine the sheer terror these poor unfortunate souls must have gone through. This is a bonus because there is no single ‘famous’ mummified body, but an entire city frozen in time. The majority of plaster casts are situated around Pompeii and in the Archaeological Museum of Naples.

Listverse Staff

Listverse is a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. Three or more fact-packed lists daily.

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  • Ruairi

    good list. merry christmas

  • Liz

    Very interesting!

  • saf

    good list (2nd)

  • Skrillah

    In 2000 years Skrillah’s gonna end up like this! Future Archeologists here I Come!!

    Amazing list!! A +

  • El the erf

    Are there any prizes for guessing tomorrow’s winner?

  • KatiesGoldenDust

    I live in Long Beach. Nice to see something pertaining to my city on here.

    Oh, and very nice list. I want to go into forensic pathology, so I found this list to be very appealing to me and quite interesting. I love morbid stuff! :)

  • pdxstargazer82

    I’ve always been fascinated with mummies. Great list and congrats.

  • lo

    fun list, congratulations and merry xmas.

    one thing -chicha- is a generally low alcohol maize or yucca based “beer”, not a hallucinogen.

    maybe you were thinking of ayahuasca? although there is no evidence of it being ever used in such rituals (and i don’t think it would be at all appropriate, knowing what state of mind it induces, unless mixed with other psychoactive herbs) it is indeed a potent hallucinogen.

  • capt funtime

    very interesting and lots of information, but seeing the pictures christmas eve was not what i had in mind

    merry chrimbo one and all

  • Claire

    fascinating

  • Roinuj Ollirac

    Can’t wait to see what list wins first place.

  • Kaybaby

    Great list! The bonus is intriguing. I will have to look it up. I can’t wait to see what the winning list is about!

  • Jack

    My theory is this is number 2 on the christmas list because jfrater wish he’d written his for cogitz ;) just kidding, cool list :)

  • Jack

    @Jack (14): *written this, damn it

  • necro_penguin

    quite good, but i still liked yesterday’s list better.

  • Yogipogi

    kudos to alicia12345!

  • Meg

    Wow, #1 and the bonus item are just…wow…

    Very nice list, although I do agree with #10. XD

  • Maximuz04

    Wow #1 was awesome, I am going to china so I looked up if this was on the way but it kinda isnt :(.

  • Manda

    Actually, we do know how Otzi died. He was engaged in a fight, and managed to wound or kill two enemies (this from DNA found on his knife). He was injured by being shot with an arrow in the back, and despite this, he tried to carry a companion to safety (again, DNA found in blood on his woven grass cloak). At some point, he dropped his companion (who may or may not have been dead) and later collapsed in the snow. He survived for about two days (don’t know how they figured that out) and then died. He carried over 70 items with him, including arrows and a quiver; woven shoes stuffed with grass to keep him feet warm; food such as fruits, dried meat and bread; and various other tools. He was about 35 years old.
    All this info comes from the English text book I used to teach from. (Headway 3rd edition, Upper Intermediate, chapter 10.)

  • Manda

    Oh, and what about (cause you know there had to be one) the Chinese monks who go through strenuous training and physical feats to mummify themselves? Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of them. Can someone enlighten me?

  • Gobbolino the witches cat

    Very cool list.

  • Jack Deth

    Wow, great list!

    I must say, this was a most unexpected topic!

    Very interesting though.

    Merry Christmas to a Listversers :D

  • Jack Deth

    * Merry Christmas to all Listversers :D

  • deezer

    Interesting list. Congratulations and well done. Can’t wait to see #1 list.. thank you.

  • superbloop

    Christmas Eve List: Mummies. Obviosly.

    Anyway, fine list

  • shadydeathrow

    The list is great but i thought the number 2 list about Christmas, would be about, well, Christmas!

    Anyway, lousy Christmas and a crappy New Year!

  • Morticia

    Historical lists seem to be the safest! LOVE them – this was fascinating, cant wait to see who is the winner tomorrow!

  • hyla02

    Amazing list. One of my favourites. I am always fascinated with the macabre. :)

  • Si Si

    Damn! Disturbing…and wonderful.

  • James James

    there’s also Ferdinand Marcos, the Phillipine dictator who today is more well-known as Imeldia’s husband.

  • Beans

    That was pretty interesting

  • Late O’Day

    The incorrupt body of St Bernadette has been mentioned prominently on several lists here. But the treatment is always a bit misleading. Omitted is the fact that the body on display (and in the photo) is wearing a wax mask.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Bernadette_Soubirous#Exhumations

  • oouchan

    Amazing list, alicia12345!
    I love everything about mummies. Studied them for several years for no other reason that they were fascinating.
    Of those above, I have heard of all but 3 of them before. Also, I will always love the conspiracies behind King Tut’s death. Always good for a laugh. :)

    As a side note and completely unrelated matter to this list…I would like to wish my daughter a very happy birthday. :)

  • Ny

    Amazing list. Well done, alicia12345, aned congratulations! I’ve only heard of a few of these – yay for futher education!

  • Nick

    Hey, what about Eva Peron? they mummified her by replacing her blood with glycerin.

  • chubbmeister

    Wow, a list ‘stuffed’ with amazing stories (tzjing…..boom!). I especially liked the item about Elmer McCurdy, almost unbelievable with that many twists

  • mom424

    Very good list. Congratulations!

    @Manda (21): I read about those monks; years of hard physical labour, years of eating poison (can’t remember exactly what they eat, something akin to pine sap me thinks), as well as limiting fluid intake – and then they wait to die. Talk about commitment!

  • weegmc

    Cool list, still looking for that Christmas link though

  • dave
  • Moonbeam

    I was glad this list included the bonus about Pompeii.
    Smithsonian Magazine has a great article on line about the Pompeii volcano eruption. It’s somewhat long for those with short attention spans, but very good.

    They even found graffiti on the walls, “Some of the messages sound familiar, only the names have changed: Auge Amat Allotenum (Auge Loves Allotenus) C Pumidius Dipilus Heic Fuit (Gaius Pumidius Dipilus Was Here). A half-dozen walls around town offer comments on the relative merits of blondes and brunettes.”

    There is a poignant photo of “a plaster cast of a young child stretched out on his back with his toes pointed and his eyes closed…his arms are lifted slightly. He was found with his parents and a younger sibling… The family had sought refuge under a staircase, which then collapsed and killed them. The powdery ash that soon buried them was so finely textured that the cast reveals even the child’s eyelids.”

    There is evidence that the wealthy male slave owners required that their slaves of both genders submit to sex with their owners: “If you were a slave, you could not say no.”

    You can read the article at: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/pompeii.html?c=y&page=3#ixzz0acEGsDOL

  • magicman555

    Saint Francis Xavier of Goa

    http://www.goaunplugged.com/abtgoa_sfx.html

  • magicman555

    one more link of Saint Francis Xavier
    http://www.biographybase.com/biography/Xavier_Francis.html

  • Jlove

    Hey! how about the ever so influential first lady of Argentina, Eva Peron?

  • FamousAmos

    St. Bernie is kind of hot in that pic

  • MzFly

    Very interesting list. I have always been fascinated with the methods and abilities used to preserve these bodies. And to remember they were doing this for thousands of years! Pretty amazing.

  • lala
  • mathilda2

    Congratulations alicia12345! I always like a nice morbid list, although I always feel vaguely sorry for the deceased. I wouldn’t want my photo on the internet after I was dead; I probably would not be looking my best then. :)

  • gabi319

    Congrats alicia12345! I don’t think I’ve seen your name on the author spot before. Is this your first list? If so, quite a way to make an entrance! :-)

    If you’re compiling “another top 10 mummies…” Unknown Man E (or Screaming Man) would be a good addition!

  • ringtailroxy

    mmm…a nicely composed list, but not one that is overly intriguing. mummies are cool & all, but St. Bernadette & Lenin are both wax overlays…so not an accurate & true “mummy” (death masks never are)

    normally i love a good macabre list…but this one is so-so.

    congrats on winning the 2nd place of the contest…although it would not have been my 2nd choice.

    maybe 3rd or 4rth.

    but not 2nd.

  • MouseintheHouseMI

    This is a cool list! I wasn’t aware of some of these, nice job!

    I find the ancient mummies quite fascinating, especially Ötzi the Iceman. Thanks, Alicia!

    Merry Christmas! Happy Hannakah! Happy Kwanza! Blessed New Year! And, not to offend our Pagan friends, Happy Yule! Not to omit our atheist friends, just enjoy the friends, food, and family!

    Be safe this Winterval!

  • the cloaked schemer

    @ Manda to add to what mom424 said:

    http://atlasobscura.com/places/sokushinbutsu-dainichi-temple

    and the monks are Japanese, not Chinese, got it memorized?

  • MommaDuck

    Bill Clinton…always the smooth talker.

  • Chineapplepunk

    @ringtailroxy (52): Point proven.

    Good list, and congrats on second place. I found this list more interesting than some of the other recent ones.

    I wouldn’t have put you fourth or fifth.

    Second.

    Not fourth or fifth ;)

  • Handrejka

    Great list. I’d heard of most of these before but 10 and 1 were new to me. I found number 1 especially interesting.

  • SURYA

    Is J. Frater’s love for the bizarre playing any role in deciding the winners?

  • alicia12345

    Merry Christmas and a happy new year all! Can’t wait to see tomorrows list!

    @ gabi319 – Yes, this is my first list :D
    I’m so pleased with it coming second because I didn’t think it ever would & a great Christmas present too!

    Thank you Jamie! :D

  • Eric

    Either this list was copied from http://www.topdare.com or TopDare copied this list from here.

    I’m just saying…

    I’d hate to see this site be accused of fraudulent practices.

    Good list though.

  • timmy the dying boy

    Ive managed to see Lenin, and he looked pretty waxy to me.

    As an aside, I just heard an interview with Jamie on the CBC. Nice chat, even if he talks kind of funny. You were wise to be nice and not get Anna Maria mad; I’ve heard that happen many times, and she’d proceed to cut the victim to ribbons.

  • GRRRR

    good list, tho i did like yesterdays better…

  • Nelia

    @Eric (60): I am not familiar with that site, but they credit and link listverse at the bottom of the list.

    Interesting list, I found Juanita especially fascinating.

  • flamehorse

    Congrats, alicia! Great list! Good stuff for Christmas!

  • lyckligmig

    This is an excellent list! My favorite kind. I love the mummies, and historic preservation/peep-hole lists! Well written too.

  • Metalwrath

    I can’t believe there is no mention of the Tarim mummies, blond/red haired mummies in China, indicating indo-european expansion to China until the 1st millennium BC :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarim_mummies
    They are a cause of great distress to the Chinese government, as they originate from a region which already has views of independence, so the existence of these mummies which clearly adds to the ethnic difference of the western Chinese are now another argument for independence.
    Very disappointed by this list for this omission, although the rest was interesting.

  • porkido

    This is what Listverse should always be…

    …but no mention of ‘claims’ that Otzi was gay?

    (the Copper Age was, apparently, a pretty swingin’ time)

  • Maggot

    Pandering to Jamie’s love of all things macabre, eh? Brilliant strategic move. Not that this isn’t a great list, because it is. Nice job, Alicia and congrats on placing 2nd!

  • Lifeschool

    A credibly composed list of incredibly decomposed cadavers. :D

  • Sobeyah

    St Bernadette CAN SUM1 Clear my confusion about it..i mean wht do u mean be i being incorrupt, meanz it is as it is nothing at all is done 2 it or any part ov it 2 preserve or why is her face having sort make up luk???!!!?? confused!

  • Vera Lynn

    I have read that mushrooms grow on Lenin’s body and have to be periodically removed. That’s a big yuck for me!

    Great list. Interesting, to say the least.

  • Jeezlouise

    really enjoyed this one, thank you!

  • Moonbeam

    @Eric (60): The TopDare.com is “a website for tops addicted people. We scan the web for any kind of tops that may interest you.” They copied the list directly from here. You can also tell because they included the bit about this being the second prize winning entry, and as @Nelia (63): says: “they credit and link listverse at the bottom of the list.”

  • Jeezlouise

    @Sobeyah (70): incorruptibility is a belief of the catholic and eastern orthodox faiths where a body does not decompose due to a certain heavenly or supernatural intervention. i hate to sound like a cynic, but they probably just use the really good formula for these people… which takes nothing away from sainte bernadette of course.

  • Talanic

    Actually, I recall an article on the Iceman. In it, they revealed that they’d found an arrowhead in his back. He probably died of blood loss, as his killer had yanked out the rest of the arrow.

  • lrigD

    This is a great list! I actually can’t believe it hasn’t been done before here, but still, a great list. @Manda (20): I used Headway at school (in the Netherlands) and I think I read that article too, and I remember being pretty interested… can’t remember any specifics though.

    Well done alicia2345!

  • Sed

    How about Ho Chi Minh? Called “Uncle Ho” in Vietnam, his body is very well preserved and on display in a huge mausoleum. He really is the national identity of Vietnam.

  • I greatly enjoyed this list, and for it to be a first is some marvelous achievement! You can ask around, alicia12345, and the other posters will tell you that I don’t hand out hollow praise.
    Congratulations.

  • wazzaa

    this list was NOT better than yesterdays

  • deeeziner

    Congratulations on your win Alicia. What a cool “surprise” gift to add to your Christmas holiday.

    Very interesting subject, I have been intrigued with mummies since grade school, and am familiar with all of these with the exception of item 1, The Empress. So you’ve given me a new google to pursue.

    I recently read an article in National Geographic that pictured mummified slabs of meat.(Right down to the ceremonial wrappings.)They were obviously shank portions, and looked like they had just come from an ancient meat shop.

    The article also covered lesser known mummified animals like lions and ELEPHANTS! Now that would have been quite the project.

    Happy Holidays to all!

  • David

    Where are Stalin, Mao Ho Chi Minh, and Ferdinand Marcos? And Mumm-Ra? As long as Evil exists, Mumm-Ra lives!!!

  • ringtailroxy

    okay. i figured out why i was not overly impressed by this list.

    it’s because i’ve been an avid LVer since the early days…way back in September 2007…

    and there have been other lists that mention

    1.) St. Bernadette (https://listverse.com/2007/08/21/top-10-incorrupt-corpses/)

    2.) Vladimir Lenin (https://listverse.com/2007/09/06/top-10-famous-corpses/)

    3.) Rosalia Lonbardo (https://listverse.com/2009/11/27/10-residents-of-the-capuchin-catacombs/)

    4.) Tollund Man + Bog Bodies & even Chinese mummies! (https://listverse.com/2008/02/25/top-10-most-overlooked-mysteries-in-history/)

    since i enjoy reading the comments almost as much as the lists, i have followed several links posted by other readers & also been inspired to conduct my own research on topics presented here.

    so, the truth is, for me, that this list only introduced me to a few new items,and since i had been inspired previous to this list to search up natural mummies, it was rather bland.

    not a #2 candidate in my book. but it’s Jamie’s website, & if he wants to put up a list that has topics that have already been presented on LV, then he can!

  • Blogball

    Very interesting and well written list alicia12345. I really enjoyed it and congratulations on winning 2nd place. I thought the bonus was the most fascinating. Concerning Elmer McCurdy, I was wondering if there was a case where someone put a quarter in his mouth instead and then reached in his mouth and pulled out 4 nickels as change.

  • AE51

    John Torrington from the Franklin Expedition is also a pretty famous one

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/castlekay/3804222165/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Torrington

  • astraya

    Good list, alicia, and welcome.

    I know about, but I’ve never quite understood:

    “The ash solidified before the corpses decayed.”

    Where did the decayed body matter go, if the archeologists were able to pour plaster into the cavity?

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    Interesting but kind of foul

  • Dk

    I have to say i was a bit worried when I saw the title for today, thinking “no way is this gonna come close to yesterday’s list!” I was wrong though. I don’t know if I would say it’s necessarily better than yesterday, but it’s definitely a very well done list. And I think someone else mentioned this, but was this your first list alicia? If so, it’s a pretty grand entrance. Can’t WAIT to see tomorrow’s list!

    @capt funtime (10): The contest wasn’t for “Christmas-related lists” it was for any topic. The original posting about the contest specifically said it does not have to be a Christmas or holiday themed list. In fact, I’m sure Jamie preferred that it not be, so he could add the non-winning lists to his stockpile for anytime use.

  • gabi319

    @timmy the dying boy (61):
    Woah, I just listened to the clip of Frater’s CBC interview! From now on, whenever Jamie posts anything here, that accent is what I’ll mentally try to recreate as I read what he posts, lol. :-)

  • Mabel

    I’ve seen most of these but I always found them fascinating. Very well written and researched list. :)

  • mom424

    @Sobeyah (70): In other words she didn’t rot as expected. But even if she didn’t rot she’d still look awful; skin goes leathery, eyes sink in and darken etc. Not pleasant to look at but considered miraculous none the less. Regular folks would be grossed out therefore the church uses the wax mask and hands.

    PS: if you use regular english it would be much appreciated by we “old” folks. It’s much easier to reply if I understand what you’re after from the get-go.

  • sisi

    altogether great list: fascinating topic, good research and very well written! kudos!

  • wondersquid

    The mummified body quiz beat the historic events quiz? No way.

  • wondersquid

    I meant “list.” I spent most of the day driving and am in a daze.

  • ianz09

    @gabi319 (88): Now I wanna listen to it lol. Is there a link?

  • Karl

    Great list! Merry Christmas everyone!!!

  • gabi319

    @ianz09 (94):
    http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2009/200912/20091224.html
    The interview’s somewhere in the middle of that first clip.

    Frater, you’ve got quite a sexy voice, sir. ;-) and this is in *no way* an attempt to flatter you into considering me the first place winner of the Christmas Contest. However, if it has a chance of working then *maybe* it might be an attempt to flatter you… :-D

  • ianz09

    @gabi319 (96): Good luck, I’ve been barking up that tree for awhile… I thought after I sent in “25 Ways JFrater is the Best Thing to Ever Happen to Anything, Ever” I’d get whatever I wanted. So far, jack shit.

    And now the disclaimer, for the loud few who I know won’t get the joke: I have never submitted a list with that title.

    Yet.

  • Trazz

    very nice – agree with all others that this is an interesting choice for x-mas. nice to see something out of the ordinary; best christmas carols would have really sucked!

  • ChevalierDupin

    Very interesting list, however St. Bernadette probably should not be included as an incorrupt body is not technically mummified…it is unexplainable and miraculous, neither brought to fruition by man or nature, which would thus define the term “mummified.”

  • Aus_Canuck

    IMHO not as good as list #3 in the christmas competiton!

  • hannah

    Great list! Well written and very interesting. :)

  • Spiff17

    Great list! It reminded me of some of the older lists that got me into Listverse in the first place. Great idea with the contest Jamie. It definitely seems to draw out some great stuff.

    Merry Christmas everyone!!

    @gabi319: He does indeed have a sexy voice! And I mean that in a purely hetero observation type of way…

  • Spiff17

    alicia12345: Maybe think about making regular contributions? Quality lists like this one are exactly what this site needs to continue with! How long did the research and everything take you for this? I’ve wanted to submit a list for a while but I have a hard time finding the time required to research and write something of quality. And I refuse to submit anything that isn’t properly researched and well-written (a standard I wish all the submitters lived by).

  • topdare.com

    Hello! I am the admin of topdare.com . I have to admit that the post from topdare.com is copied from here ( listverse.com). We use a feed grabber so we index articles from around the web with a short descrpition and link to the original post for those who are interested in reading that topic. We do this with more sites but from listverse the script gets all the article. We don’t know yet what’s the problem but we will fix it as soon as it’s possible.
    Any way Eric. I f you have read the article from topdare.com you cold see at the bottom a link to the original post from listverse.com

  • I saw Rosalia Lombardo In Palermo, it is absolutely amazing, it really looks like she is sleeping…!!!
    and I went to Pompeii too, walk down the city…the feeling of the horror is still alive!

    Great list!!!

    NN

  • archangel

    Gah… how to be done with in the afterlife? Plastination? Mummification? Cremation? Burial? Sent out to space? So many choices!

  • Ehmmie

    Aww I went to see Juanita in a Peruvian museum some years ago. It was fascinating. In Peru, chicha is probably the most typical drink…no hallucinogenics included though! That was only in ancient times. Nowadays you can find it everywhere in Peru. Worth a try.

  • aj127

    Great list. I saw the famous mummies at the mummy museum in Guanajuato, Mexico a long time ago. I was just kid and didn’t realize they were actual mummies lol.

  • Trapper439

    alicia12345:

    Oh that’s just great. You’ve now brought down the “Curse of King Tut” on listverse. I expect to die of some kind of pox, flux, or plague in the next day or so just for reading it. ;)

    Seriously though, nice list.

  • Groogle

    @aj127 Who takes their kid to a mummy museum?

  • steeveedee

    Mmm, suddenly I am craving beef jerky…

    Ever heard of the ‘Soap Lady’ on display at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia? After her death, her body became soap. Check it out here:

    http://www.philly.com/inquirer/health_science/daily/20080517_Learning_secrets_of_the__soap_lady_.html

    Enjoy!

  • stephanie

    having no desire to read all of the comments on here, I don’t know if anyone mentioned Mao Zedong. I was in Beijing for a year, and saw him twice. Weirdest thing i think i’ve ever seen.

  • deeeziner

    @Groogle (110): My dad did. The Rosicrucian museum up in San Jose’, California when I was 12 or 13.

    Another great memory from childhood.

  • Firefly

    I love mummy-related things and I liked the list. Didn’t love it, a lot of these have been featured on other lists as ringtailroxy pointed out. There’s a little church just north of the river Liffey in Dublin and for the mere price of €3.50 the world’s most insane tourguide will show you three mummified bodies in the church’s crypt. Each of them has a story behind them.

  • nuriko

    cool list… belated Merry Christmas!

  • ArjayM

    Woow… Nice list about mummy. Very interesting. Belated merry Christmas to all!

  • lo

    way to never hear back from the author, alicia.

    that’s a bit sad.

  • biotaxa

    Re Tollund Man: it reads: “who lived during the 4th century BC during the Pre-Roman Iron Age… he was later found to have died over 1,500 years ago” If he lived ca. 4th BC then he died nearly 2400 years ago. Unless I’m missing something here.

  • Lia

    o_____o Lady Dai…

    …creepy e__e

    Awesome list :D

  • Budgie

    I wonder what Lady Ga Ga will look like in 100 years.

  • Some of these are kind of depressing. We take so much from the earth and a lot of the time we even refuse to give back at the ends our lives, having our bodies pumped full of toxic chemicals and being buried in concrete and steel so we never biodegrade and return ourselves to the earth.

    I'll have a green burial thanks. Just leave me under a tree somewhere for the insects and scavengers and bacteria to do their work so I can feed new bodies.

  • madddie

    Those mummies are so COOL and very interesting!

  • maria12

    the little girl one makes me so sad i mean she’s just so cute! and to think she would be 92 years old! its just sad , if only thay had the med’s we have today.

    • maria12

      oh! p.s. mummys are ausome ,but the 2 year old was sad.
      there was one lady i read about in a book that was 75
      when she died and the next day she looked like 25!!

  • jeffery

    THESE pic are cool and nice

  • milia darling g

    wow that lil girl is making me sad now but the razy thing was my faverite prinsess was sleeping beauty but i feel some thing from this lil girl like some thing hitting my soul

  • PSSYWGN

    Like.

  • ana

    ex president ferdinand marcos too!

  • gumboot

    Saint Bernadette is NOT incorrupt! This is a myth that has been thoroughly debunk yet still is perpetuated! That face you seen in her picture is a wax mask!

  • Zachery

    AKWARD

  • dane

    ok creepy…..

  • brayden

    weird people

  • danetagawa

    wierd this is very very very very veryvery very creapy cause they r creapy morphed

    • Erika

      DUMB PIC

  • MAY ZAC

    FUGLY

  • zeek

    hello

    • Maykala

      dump **********************************

  • dane to zac

    hi zac hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    • zac to dane

      suuuuppppp

  • Courteney

    Very gross shouldnt be on here naughty!!!!!
    You shouldnt have pictures of these distuging BODDIES and especially Ginger, bless him, such ashame he was only a kid :(

  • this

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  • Heavens123

    How could this list be complete without Eva Peron? I would put her at number 1.

  • Diego
  • Mcooper

    i actually would have recognized Ramses the II mummy over King tuts i have never seen it tbh but i have seen pics of his fetus’ before (don’t ask he why he did that as it wasn’t common at the time)

  • Minnie

    What about Pope John XXIII?? I was expecting him on this list for sure x