Here are a few mysterious cases of bodies that have never decomposed… Freaky, right.
But, they all have an interesting backstory to help explain their mysterious nature. Whether it’s due to the immortal work of a mortician or peculiar natural conditions, the following corpses have remained eerily intact for hundreds – sometimes thousands – of years.
1. Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov
Itigilov was a Buddhist lama in Russia in the early 1900s. When he was still alive, he asked his fellow lamas to begin the funeral procedures and he began to meditate. While meditating in the lotus position, he died. He asked that after his death, his body be exhumed after several years. In 2002, his body was exhumed and it is still well preserved.
2. Saint Benita Zita
Zita was, as many saints are, a very kind person, and when she was alive, a religious cult formed around her. She died in 1272, and 300 years later, her body was exhumed and it was found preserved. She has since been on display and mummified in the Basilica of San Frediano in Lucca, Italy.
3. Lady Xin Zhui
Xin Zhui was alive during the Han dynasty, and was the wife of a Chinese nobleman. At that time, she lived a life of extreme luxury, and was morbidly obese. In 163 BCE, this caught up to her and she died of a heart attack. When she was unearthed in 1971, her skin was still soft, and her joints could still move.
4. Saint Catherine Laboure
Saint Catherine Laboure claimed to have been visited many times in her life by the Virgin Mary, and Catherine apparently even placed her hands on Mary’s lap as she spoke to her in a church. Catherine died in 1876 and received funeral rites.
In 1993, when the church was in the process of canonizing her, her body was exhumed, as is the process. Her body at that point remained perfectly preserved. Her body is now on display in Paris.
5. La Doncella “The Maiden” – Children of the Cold
Nearly 500 years ago, this 15-year-old Incan girl was killed as part of a religious sacrifice near present-day Argentina. A bacterial infection was discovered in her lungs during an examination. She wore a dress with her hair braided, along with a headdress.
La Doncella (as she’s known) had been drugged by coca leaves and a maize beer known as chicha, dying in her sleep, a fate shared with the other mummies.Due to cold conditions and dry air, she was preserved well until the body was found in 1999.
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