25 Intriguing Facts About Mummies That Might Leave You A Bit Surprised

Posted by , Updated on April 18, 2016


When we hear the word “mummy,” most of us automatically think of ancient Egypt and its pharaohs (all right, some of us might think of the blockbuster film The Mummy). But there’s more to mummies than Hollywood and ancient Egypt as you will soon see in these fascinating facts about mummies.

Detailed scientific studies on mummies have been taking place since the early twentieth century, but their existence has been well known since antiquity. Mummies have been found in many parts of the world but the Egyptians’ expertise on mummification was unparalleled. See, in ancient Egypt they mummified their dead because according to their religion the physical body would rejoin the soul in the afterlife, so it had to be preserved as best as possible. That’s why when a body was mummified, it was wrapped in layers of linen strips and placed in a coffin before being put in a tomb. Thanks to this unique process, modern science has learned a lot about the life, nutrition, diseases, and deaths of ancient Egyptians from studying their mummies. As will you. These are 25 Intriguing Facts About Mummies That Might Leave You A Bit Surprised.

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A mummy is the body of a human or animal that has been ceremonially preserved by removal of the internal organs, treated with natron (sodium carbonate decahydrate) and resin, and wrapped in bandages.

MummiesSource: egyptabout.com, Image: Wikipedia

The English “mummy” is derived from the Medieval Latin “mumia,” a borrowing from the medieval Arabic “mūmiya” and from the Persian “mūm” (wax), which meant an embalmed corpse, as well as the bituminous embalming substance, and also meant “bitumen.”

Persian alphabetSource: egyptabout.com, Image: YouTube

Some animal mummies discovered by archaeologists include jackals, cats, baboons, horses, birds, gerbils, fish, snakes, crocodiles, hippos, and even a lion.

mummy catSource: egyptabout.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

In case you’ve ever wondered why so many mummies of jackals have been found, keep in mind that the god of mummification was Anubis, an Egyptian god with the head of a jackal.

Man with mask of AnubisSource: egyptabout.com

Ancient Egyptians started making mummies around 3400 BCE, but it took them nearly eight hundred years to figure out that if they took out the internal organs, the mummies would last instead of rot. Over time mummification became a very complicated and lengthy process that lasted up to seventy days.

mummificationSource: egyptabout.com, Image: Wikipedia

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