Ancient or modern Egypt is not known for having blondes in their population. That is why the discovery of mummies with fair-colored hair was an odd find for some archeologists. Some Egyptologists believe it was caused by the mummification process, while others think they were just ones that lived during the Greek and Roman rule.
In what looks like an early version Edvard Munch's The Scream, mummies would often have their mouths wide open. This was an important and tough ritual that involved breaking the jaw of the corpse. This was a necessary part of the deceased's regaining of sense for the afterlife.
Mummies were so popular at one point that it was the go-to ingredient for products of all kinds, from medicine to art. In this case, they would ground up mummies and use it as the pigment as a specific kind of paint named after it. It was used for a good 400 years before declining in popularity.
Some of the oldest portraits ever made were made, in fact, in association with a mummified body. More than 1000 portraits were found in the Fayum region of Egypt. Many compare them to the work of Renaissance and post-Renaissance artists.
Since ancient Egyptians believed their loved ones were on a trip to the afterlife, it made sense that they would pack them some lunch. Pharaohs would have tombs stocked with food ready for eternal life. Meats and fish would be covered in a type of resin for presevation, and jars of wine would be left so the ruler could deal with his afterlife in style.
A thousand-year old Buddhist statue that was on loan to a Dutch museum was also the home of a mummified monk. The mummy/statute received a CT scan to check out its contents and what they found were astounding. The monk's organs had been replaced with papers printed with Chinese characters.
Lady Dai was an aristocrat during the Han Dynasty that was wrapped in layers of silk and four nested coffins. When she was examined after her tomb was found in 1974, they found that her veins were still filled with blood and still had soft tissue. That meant they were able to perform an autopsy on Lady Day...2000 years after her death.
King Tut's bandages ran at about 4.7 meters and were custom-made so well that it looked like modern gauze. Still, that's nothing compared to the length of some of other mummies' wrappings who could go as long as 1.6km. Think about that the next time you make a 5K run.
It's common knowledge that a lot of pets also made it to the afterlife wrapped up in neat packages. In fact, one discovery found that they went overboard on the winged front. In the Western Desert, scientists unearthed more than four million mummies of a stork-like bird called an ibis.
14. What They Replaced Eyes With Would Make You Cry
In 1976, the mummified body of King Ramesses II was to be sent to a French museum for study and much-needed repair. The problem was, according to French law, anyone coming into France alive or dead must come with a passport. Because of this, Ramesses II was given a passport by the Egyptian government, designated as a deceased king, and given funeral procession of full military honors.