Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Melting Mummies

Climate change, it seems, is everywhere, changing everything. Even the North Pole is melting as the planet heats up.

Now comes the bizarre news that Chile’s famous Chinchorro mummies are melting. The mummies, around since 5000 BC, are turning to black ooze, and scientists blame climate change.

The mummies were discovered 100 years ago buried under the desert sands in northern Chile. They are considered significant because they are believed to be the world’s oldest mummies. Also, they are mysterious because they represent all classes of the Chinchorron society, including babies and fetuses. Other cultures mummified only the elite, such as pharaohs in Egypt.

The mummies have been kept in a museum and now the skins are decomposing and turning into black ooze.

How is it that a mummified body thousands of years old now starts to turn to black ooze? Experts says that humidity levels in northern Chile have been increasing, allowing common bacteria to turn into eaters of collagen, which is a main component of mummified skin.

The experts say that the melting mummies are a warning to museums of the deterioration damage that can be expected from the world’s changing climate.

Meanwhile, some positive news coming out of climate change. Some Newfoundlanders are making good money lassoing ice chunks breaking off the northern ice cap and selling them to bottled water companies and vodka producers.

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