“‘Imagine living in the barren desert with barely anything, just sand and stone,’ [ecologist Pablo Marquet] says. Barely anything, that is, except for hundreds, if not thousands, of dead bodies that never decay. One would feel ‘compelled somehow to relate’ to the corpses” [Underwood/ScienceNow]
The Chonchorros beat the Egyptians to that whole mummy thing by about 3000 years. So why do those guys get all the credit (unless you count The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, which we won’t, because as much as I love Maria Bello, she’s no Rachel Weisz)?
After removing the skin to be dried, [the Chonchorros] scooped out the organs and stuffed the body with clay, dried plants, and sticks. Once they reattached the skin, embalmers painted the mummy shiny black or red and put a black wig on its head. Covering the corpses’ faces were clay masks, some molded into an open-mouthed expression that later inspired Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream.
If that’s not scary movie fodder, I do not know what is.