Summum Mummification Services – Who Needs Coffins When You Can Spend Eternity as a Mummy?

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If the mummies of ancient Egypt fascinate you, then you are going to love this – you can sign up to be a mummified too. Summum Mummification Services is the only company of its kind in the world, perfectly preserving human and animal bodies after death.

The company, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, was set up in 1975 by Claude Nowell. He now goes by Summum Bonum Amon Ra, or Corky Ra, for short. “We’re the only ones worldwide who do modern mummification,” he said. Summum’s mummification method is actually a lot more advanced than the ancient Egyptians’, taking only 90 days to complete. First, the blood is drained out of the body and the organs are taken out and cleansed. Then the body is hydrated for over 70 days in a tank full of chemicals that Corky Ra calls his ‘secret formula’.

After the soaking is complete, the body is doused in lanolin and wax, and covered in layers of cotton gauze. About a dozen coats of polyurethane rubber are put on, which dry as tough as a tire. Then come the layers of fiberglass bandages, which set the body in the desired position. Once the mummy is ready, it is encased in a bronze or steel casket.

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Mystery Surrounds Colombian Cemetery That Turns Buried Bodies into Mummies

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The ancient Egyptians spent centuries developing their mummifying techniques, but at a cemetery in San Bernardo, a small Colombian town, corpses somehow become naturally mummified in their coffins.

The phenomenon was first noticed 15 years ago, by grave digger Eduardo Cifuentes. “The burial pit was full of bodies,” he said. “I didn’t like stepping on them because they were humans like us so I started organizing them.” It’s only because of Eduardo’s efforts that the mummies are being talked about. He said that the mummified bodies have been around since about 1957, but no one paid any attention to them. “I liked the idea of keeping them for posterity,” he said. With the passage of time, the mummies’ clothes and skin have turned brown. Their skins look pasty and wrinkled.

Scientists have no idea why this is happening. The only other site in Latin America where natural mummification takes place is the Guanajuato, a town in central Mexico, where underground gas and soil conditions are the secret. But the same cannot be said for San Bernardo, because bodies are buried in chambers above the ground (as is customary in Colombia) so they do not come into contact with the earth.

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Sokushinbutsu – Japan’s Self-Mummified Monks

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Sokushinbutsu were Buddhist priests who took their own lives in such a way that they became mummies and were revered for their spirit and dedication.

Popular in northern Japan, especially around the Yamagato Prefecture, the practice of becoming Sokushinbutsu is believed to a tantric ritual from Tang China, brought to the Land of the Rising Sun by the founder of Shingon Buddhism.

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