What is a Natural Mummy?

“Iceman” is a natural mummy from the Stone Age.

What is a mummy? When you think of a mummy, you might think about those you see in the movies. They are wrapped in cloth and shuffle around with their arms out. These mummies are fictional, but mummies are a very real thing.

A mummy is a dead body that is very well preserved. Some mummies still have skin, eyes, and internal organs. Mummies are created when the natural decay [break down] process is prevented.

Some mummies were preserved by humans, but some were created by nature! Certain environments naturally prevent decay. 

The dry conditions of deserts can produce natural mummies. Without water, decay does not occur.

Bogs can also create natural mummies. A bog is a wetland with large amounts of dead plant material. The water in bogs is acidic and has no oxygen. These conditions prevent decay.

Freezing conditions can also produce mummies. Sometimes frozen mummies still have clothes and hair.

Natural mummies might be creepy, but they are important. They can be thousands of years old and perfectly preserved. Scientists can learn about how they lived.

What Do You Think?    Are mummies creepy or cool? Explain.

Photo Credit: dpa picture alliance/Alamy Stock Photo