10 Things You May Not Know About Mummies

In honor of Mother’s Day, which we here at Cutting Edge Haunted House like to call “Mummies Day,” we go all out to pay homage to our beloved mummies.  We take them to brunch, shower them with roses and get their wraps freshly dry-cleaned.  And now, for your enjoyment, here are ten things you may not know about mummies.

1.  Ancient Egyptians started making mummies around 3400 BC, however they were not the first to do so. People in South America beat them to the punch by about a millennium, give or take.  Rather than developing elaborate processes like the ancient Egyptians, however, early South Americans often left their dead to mummify in naturally dry or frozen areas, although some did perform surgical preparation when mummification was intentional.  Hmm, saves the cost of a burial plot…

2.  Why mummification? People had their bodies turned into mummies because they wanted to preserve them forever.  By preserving them, they believed they could still use them in the afterlife.  Nowadays they just freeze them.

3.  It wasn’t only kings and pharaohs who were mummified. In ancient Egypt, anyone could be mummified when they died, as long as they could afford it.  I wonder if someone will discover an Egyptian Donald Trump…

4.  Pet Cemetery? Some animal mummies have been discovered in ancient Egyptian ruins, including cats, jackals, baboons, horses, birds, gerbils, fish, snakes, crocodiles, hippos, and even a lion.

5.  In Victorian era England, unwrapping mummies was a popular party event. The party host would purchase a mummy and invite guests to amuse themselves by unwrapping it.  Not exactly a pinata…

6.  England’s King Charles II was under the delusion that the dust that came from mummies harbored the secret to greatness. Accordingly, he kept mummies on hand around the palace, and he would gather up the dust that fell from them and rub it on his skin.  Maybe just a little talc would be better for the chafing, Chucky boy.

7.  In the 1800’s, those who so desired could purchase “Mummy Wheat,” said to be grown from grains of wheat found in mummy coffins. I wonder if you could use it to make “Mini Mummy Wheats” cereal?

8.  Using x-rays and cat scans, scientists can tell what kinds of diseases mummified people had, from cavities to spinal deformities, and even nutritional deficiencies. King Tut, for instance, was found to have been suffering from a broken leg, brittle bone disease and malaria at the time of his death, at the ripe old age of 18.  And HE was the KING.  Talk about crappy medical care!

9.  Modern uses for mummies: Mummies have been used in hospitals for calibrating CAT scan machines, at levels of radiation much too dangerous for a patient.

10.  The world’s tallest mummy was found not in Egypt, but in the Ying Pan region of China, and is a perfectly preserved 2000-year-old Caucasian man with a blonde beard and a 6 foot 6 frame. Keep digging fellas, there’s got to be a basketball hoop in that dig somewhere!

Happy Mummies Day from Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas.  Everybody, hug your mummy!