- from Mummies
Hollywood horror films have helped make mummies both famous and feared. “Fear Will Freeze You When You Face... The Mummy!” announced a poster for the 1959 movie The Mummy. “The Mummy... It Comes to Life!” declared another.
Viewers of mummy movies quiver on the edge of their seats as wrapped-up monsters, angry about having their sleep disturbed, spring to life. But mummies shouldn’t really be feared.
A mummy is a dead body that has dried out and hasn’t decomposed (decayed, or rotted). Without some kind of preservation, dead bodies decay quickly due to bacteria, molds, and other small forms of life that feed on the once-living tissues. To do their work, they need water, which is plentiful in a normal dead body. About 70 percent of a person’s body is water. Dead bodies can dry out naturally in certain extreme climates, or they can dry out with the help of human beings. Let’s get up close and personal with some very old... dead bodies!