Everyone thinks mummies are cool. I mean, the way that the dead were preserved by removing the internal organs, some through a cut in the left side of the body, and the brain’s removal through the nose. It’s all so interesting! Plus, the fact that a person’s been preserved thousands of years is both creepy and intriguing at the same time.
Now, the concept of preservation isn’t unique to the Ancient Egyptians and mummies. People have continued to be interested in being preserved after death, with embalming being quite common. Another, more controversial method is cryonics – freezing the body so that they can be “unfrozen” when the technology is available in the future, and resuscitated. Some are even convinced that Walt Disney is cryogenically frozen somewhere, claims which have been denied by spokespeople for the family/company.
While the topic isn’t new, it’s been opened again more recently with the news that a terminally ill British man had decided to be mummified. When I read the headline I was confused and my mouth hung open for a few seconds as I tried to make sense of the headline while waiting for the article to load. The only thing in my mind was “why on Earth would someone do that?” I mean, wanting to be preserved using current and advanced technology is one thing. But wanting to be preserved the way an ancient civilization used to do it is something else entirely! And why? Why would anyone want to stick around forever?
It turns out that Alan Billis, a 61 year old taxi driver dying from lung cancer decided that he’d like to be mummified last year. Alan even joked with his wife that he’d be called Tutanalan, a reference to the famous Tutankhamun. Sure enough, after he died in January, scientists spent a couple of months mummifying his body and apparently it worked. Scientists and experts recreated the conditions of Egypt in order to get the same result, and Alan Billis became the first person in over 3,000 years to be mummified. His body is going to stay at the medical center where he was mummified to be studied further.
This makes me wonder, is this going to become more common? Now that one person has done it, does this mean more and more people will choose to be mummified? Personally, I would never do it. But what do you think? Is being preserved for thousands of years the way that the Ancient Egyptians were the latest trend? Is it for you?
Let me know…I’d love to hear what you think!