Exhumed bodies in Colombia remain intact, even their eyes, baffling experts

Experts baffled about how bodies are being preserved without chemical

By Web Desk
May 13, 2024
Mummies are on display at Jose Arquimedes Castro Mausoleum. — AFP

Scientists have been left scratching their heads, as they could not figure out why the residents of a village spontaneously mummified without any chemical substance for preservation in the Colombian town of San Bernardo.

The pictures from the South American country showed the clothes hair and their eyes intact without any preservative measures.


According to the New York Post, quoting Rocio Vergara, a guide at the town cemetery’s Museum of Mummies, “people were a little incredulous about what was happening.”

The bodies of the deceased were first uncovered in the 1950s from the village as it was relocated from one of the original graves after the floods. Similarly, other bodies were also exhumed which reached their peak in the 1980s.

Some of those mummies are now on display at the Jose Arquimedes Castro Mausoleum for visitors to see.

The bodies are so much preserved that some of the easily perishable parts are remarkably intact.

“She still has her little brown face, round, her braids, her hair,” Clovisnerys Bejarano, 63, said while describing her mother, Saturnina, who died 30 years ago and is on display at the Historical Preservation Society.

The dead mother was reportedly garbed in the same dress she was interred in, clasping a carnation in her incredibly well-preserved hands.

Experts maintain that the mummification is associated with the place of burial in arid, above-ground vaults, which they believe may act as a natural preserving agent.

"The wind is constantly blowing as it is hot," said Daniela Betancourt, an anthropologist at the National University of Colombia, adding that "it is possible to assume that the vaults work like an oven … they dehydrate you."

Despite some explanations, there’s a need for studying “what specific conditions are the ones that cause people to mummify,” she said.