One of the world’s most preserved mummies, the Lady of Dai, is still soft to the touch, has bendy ligaments, and is 2,100 years old

 
 
 
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This isn’t for the squeamish!

This is something you may not want to see while you’re eating.

A Chinese woman was preserved for around 2,100 years and is baffling scientists. She is called the Lady of Dai, and is considered to be one of the best-preserved mummies ever found.

Her skin is still soft, her legs and arms can bend, her internal organs are still intact. She has even retained her Type-A blood. Somehow she still has her own eyelashes and hair.

The preserved body of Xin Zhui.
The preserved body of Xin Zhui.

The Lady of Dai is also known as Xin Zhui. She lived during the Han dynasty from 206 BC through 220 AD and was the wife of the Marquis of Dai.

Her tomb was found inside a hill known as Mawangdui, located in Changsha, Hunan, China. The burial site was found in 1971 when workers were digging an air raid shelter.

In the second layer, the coffin of Lady Dai was discovered locked inside four layers of coffins. An autopsy revealed that Xin Zhui suffered from back pain, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, gall stones, diabetes, liver disease, and overweight. She also had a severely damaged heart.

She died from a heart attack at the age of 50; specialists have recorded that she enjoyed a lifestyle as lush as a Marquis.

Xin Zhui (Chinese: 辛追), also known as lady Dai, was the wife of the Marquess Li Cang (利蒼) (d. 186 BCE), chancellor for the imperial fiefdom of Changsha during the Han Dynasty. This is a reconstruction of her.
Xin Zhui (Chinese: 辛追), also known as lady Dai, was the wife of the Marquess Li Cang (利蒼) (d. 186 BCE), chancellor for the imperial fiefdom of Changsha during the Han Dynasty. This is a reconstruction of her.

What exactly is a mummy?

Mummies are humans or animals who are dead and whose skin and organs have been preserved either accidentally or intentionally. Preservation can be through lack of air, low humidity, extreme cold, or chemicals. This means that the body isn’t decaying as long as it’s kept in dry and cool conditions.

Mummies have been discovered on all continents. In Egypt, there are over a million animal mummies, mainly cats.

In ancient Egypt, when a Pharaoh passed away it was believed that he would ascend to the afterlife and turn into one of the several gods that the people worshipped.

They would use the process of mummification to preserve bodies to prevent them from decomposing. Intentional mummification started as early as the 2nd dynasty, which was around 3400BC. It turned into being an integral part of the Egyptian ritual for the dead. It can take up to 70 days to embalm a body correctly.

Coffin with Painted Design on Black Lacquer Coating Photo Credit
Coffin with Painted Design on Black Lacquer Coating Photo Credit

The mummies that are found in Asia are usually considered to be accidental. The descendents were buried in just the right place so that the environment acted as an agent of preservation. This is most common in the desert areas of Iran and the Tarim Basin, The Sun reported.

Here is another mummy story from us: A 2,200-year-old mummy with modern-day ailments goes on display in Israel

Mummies have been found in Asian climates that are more humid, but recovering them is difficult as the bodies are subject to decay rapidly after they are removed from the grave because of the warm, moist climate to which they are suddenly exposed.