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The Enigma of San Bernardo’s ‘Natural Mummies’: Over a Dozen Exceptionally Well-Preserved Bodies Puzzle Experts, Defying Explanation.

Astonishing new pH๏τos show the extremely well-preserved ‘natural mummies’ housed in a Colombian mausoleum that are thought to date back only around 100 years.

More than a dozen of the bodies are on display in glᴀss cases at a mausoleum in San Bernardo, Colombia, high within the Andes and 40 miles southwest of the country’s capital Bogota.

Astonishing new pH๏τos show the extremely well-preserved ‘natural’ mummies housed in a Colombian mausoleum that are thought to date back only around 100 years

Why they’re so well-preserved is a mystery, although some experts think it’s because of the local climate and alтιтude, which could affect the chemical composition of the earth and act like a natural embalmer.

However, locals think it’s due to a native diet that includes guatila, also known as chayote, a green, spiky fruit — although this theory does not account for why the mummies’ clothes are in a good state of preservation too.

San Bernardo’s mummified bodies, which belonged to people born in roughly the last 100 years, were first discovered in the 1950s when a local cemetery was relocated because of a flood.

Idenтιтies of the ᴅᴇᴀᴅ at San Bernardo are known — in fact, above each body are plaques that offer personal descriptions, such as ‘Margarita…was very dedicated as homemaker, she always offered corn cakes and coffee to everyone.’

Some relatives of the ᴅᴇᴀᴅ even come to see what is left of their family member and pay their respects — including a man called Ever Pabon, whose father is among those on display, laid out in a gray-checkered suit.

‘Most people who lose their parents put them in the ground or cremate them and can never see them again,’ Mr Pabon told the Wall Street Journal in 2015. ‘But if I miss him, I can see him any time, and he’s exactly how he was in life.’

Mr Pabon said he visits his father every two weeks and carries a picture of his mummified remains on the lock screen of his phone.

Looking at the bodies’ faces, some seem to have a calm expression, as if they ᴅᴇᴀᴅ in peace and comfort, while others appear more contorted

After being recovered from the earth, the preserved remains were first put on display for the public in 1994, turning the small Colombian town into a unusual and controversial tourist attraction.

At the time, a Roman Catholic bishop said that showcasing the mummies was a mark of disrespect to the ᴅᴇᴀᴅ.

Looking at the bodies’ faces, some seem to have a calm expression, as if they ᴅɪᴇᴅ in peace and comfort, while others appear more contorted with age.

Sadly, some of the bodies belong to children, some still wearing clothes and shoes and now displayed together in the same glᴀss cases.

The San Bernardo mausoleum has provided visitors with a unique albeit macabre tourist attraction since it opened in the mid-1990s

Some of the bodies belong to children, some still wearing clothes and shoes and now displayed together in the same glᴀss cases

Why they are so well-preserved is a mystery, although some experts think it’s because of the climate and alтιтude of the Colombian town, which may affect the chemical composition of the earth

There’s something about the atmosphere around the village that keeps bodies from ᴅᴇᴄᴏᴍᴘᴏsɪɴɢ, but the scientific

ᴀ ʙᴀʙʏ ɪɴ ʜᴇʀ ᴍᴏtʜᴇʀ’s ᴀʀᴍs ʜᴀs ʀᴇᴍᴀɪɴᴇᴅ ᴘʀᴇsᴇʀᴠᴇᴅ ᴡɪtʜᴏᴜt ᴀɴʏ ᴄʜᴇᴍɪᴄᴀʟ tʀᴇᴀtᴍᴇɴt ᴅᴜᴇ tᴏ ᴀ ɴᴀtᴜʀᴀʟ tʏᴘᴇ ᴏғ ᴍᴜᴍᴍɪғɪᴄᴀtɪᴏɴ

sɪᴍɪʟᴀʀ ɴᴀtᴜʀᴀʟ ᴍᴜᴍᴍɪғɪᴄᴀtɪᴏɴ ʜᴀs ʙᴇᴇɴ sᴇᴇɴ ɪɴ ɢᴜᴀɴᴀᴊᴜᴀtᴏ ɪɴ ᴍᴇxɪᴄᴏ, ᴡʜᴇʀᴇ ᴜɴᴅᴇʀɢʀᴏᴜɴᴅ ɢᴀs ᴀɴᴅ ᴄʜᴇᴍɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴏsɪtɪᴏɴ ᴏғ tʜᴇ sᴏɪʟ ɪs ʀᴇsᴘᴏɴsɪʙʟᴇ ғᴏʀ tʜᴇ ᴅᴇᴀᴅ ɴᴏt ʀᴏttɪɴɢ.

ʜᴏᴡᴇᴠᴇʀ, tʜᴇ ᴅᴇᴀᴅ ᴀt ɢᴜᴀɴᴀᴊᴜᴀtᴏ ᴅᴀtᴇ ʙᴀᴄᴋ tᴏ tʜᴇ ғɪʀst ʜᴀʟғ ᴏғ tʜᴇ 𝟷𝟿tʜ ᴄᴇɴtᴜʀʏ, ᴡʜɪʟᴇ tʜᴇ ᴍᴜᴍᴍɪᴇs ᴀt sᴀɴ ʙᴇʀɴᴀʀᴅᴏ ᴀʀᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴀʀᴀtɪᴠᴇʟʏ ʏᴏᴜɴɢ.

Mummification involves a process of preserving the body after death by deliberately drying or embalming the flesh – but the bodies at San Bernardo were essentially mummified by accident.

ᴀʀᴏᴜɴᴅ 𝟷𝟸,𝟶𝟶𝟶 ʀᴇsɪᴅᴇɴts ᴡʜᴏ ʟɪᴠᴇ ɪɴ tʜᴇ ᴠɪʟʟᴀɢᴇ ɴᴇstʟᴇᴅ ɪɴ ᴀ ғᴇʀtɪʟᴇ ᴠᴀʟʟᴇʏ ᴀᴍɪᴅ ғʀᴜɪt ʙᴜsʜᴇs ʜᴀᴠᴇ tʜᴇɪʀ ᴏᴡɴ tʜᴇᴏʀɪᴇs ᴀs tᴏ ᴡʜʏ tʜᴇ ʙᴏᴅɪᴇs ʜᴀᴠᴇɴ’t ᴅᴇᴄᴏᴍᴘᴏsᴇᴅ. ᴘɪᴄtᴜʀᴇᴅ, ᴀ ᴍᴜᴍᴍʏ tʜᴀt ʜᴀs ʙᴇᴇɴ ᴅɪsᴘʟᴀʏᴇᴅ ᴄᴏᴠᴇʀᴇᴅ ᴡɪtʜ ᴘʀɪstɪɴᴇ ᴡʜɪtᴇ ʟɪɴɪɴ

tʜᴇ ᴍᴜᴍᴍʏ ᴀʟsᴏ ʜᴀs ᴀ ᴄʀᴏss ʀᴇstɪɴɢ ᴏɴ tᴏᴘ ᴏғ tʜᴇ ᴄʜᴇst ᴀɴᴅ ᴡʜɪtᴇ ʟɪɴᴇɴ ᴏᴠᴇʀ tʜᴇ ʜᴇᴀᴅ, ᴡʜɪᴄʜ ɪs tᴜʀɴᴇᴅ tᴏ tʜᴇ sɪᴅᴇ ᴏғ tʜᴇ ɢʟᴀss ᴄᴀsᴇ

The bodies at the mausoleum, in San Bernardo, Colombia, belonged to people that lived up to 100 years ago, according to authorities

Another mummy at the mausoleum has been covered with a fresh shawl and is displayed with flowers inside the glᴀss case

sɪᴍɪʟᴀʀ ɴᴀtᴜʀᴀʟ ᴍᴜᴍᴍɪғɪᴄᴀtɪᴏɴ ʜᴀs ᴀʟsᴏ ʙᴇᴇɴ sᴇᴇɴ ɪɴ ɢᴜᴀɴᴀᴊᴜᴀtᴏ ɪɴ ᴍᴇxɪᴄᴏ, ᴡʜᴇʀᴇ ᴜɴᴅᴇʀɢʀᴏᴜɴᴅ ɢᴀs ᴀɴᴅ ᴄʜᴇᴍɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴏsɪtɪᴏɴ ᴏғ tʜᴇ sᴏɪʟ ɪs ʀᴇsᴘᴏɴsɪʙʟᴇ ғᴏʀ tʜᴇ ᴅᴇᴀᴅ ɴᴏt ʀᴏttɪɴɢ.

ʜᴏᴡᴇᴠᴇʀ, tʜᴇ ᴅᴇᴀᴅ ᴀt ɢᴜᴀɴᴀᴊᴜᴀtᴏ ᴅᴀtᴇ ʙᴀᴄᴋ tᴏ tʜᴇ 𝟷𝟿tʜ ᴄᴇɴtᴜʀʏ, ᴡʜɪʟᴇ tʜᴇ ᴍᴜᴍᴍɪᴇs ᴀt sᴀɴ ʙᴇʀɴᴀʀᴅᴏ ᴀʀᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴀʀᴀtɪᴠᴇʟʏ ʏᴏᴜɴɢ

ᴜʟtɪᴍᴀtᴇʟʏ, ɪt’s tʜᴏᴜɢʜt tʜᴀt ᴅᴇtᴇʀᴍɪɴɪɴɢ ᴀ ᴅᴇғɪɴɪtᴇ ᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ғᴏʀ tʜᴇ ᴍᴜᴍᴍɪᴇs’ ᴘʀᴇsᴇʀᴠᴀtɪᴏɴ ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅ ʀᴇǫᴜɪʀᴇ ᴅɪstᴜʀʙɪɴɢ tʜᴇ ʙᴏᴅɪᴇs, ᴡʜɪᴄʜ ʀᴇʟᴀtɪᴠᴇs ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅ ʟɪᴋᴇʟʏ ɴᴏt ᴡᴀɴt tᴏ ʜᴀᴘᴘᴇɴ.

Local residents have their own theories — the region has a lot of chayote or guatila, an odd fruit that is packed with vitamin C with green, spiky skin, and used in salads and native to the area, which they think gave health benefits to the mummies when they were alive.

Another local vegetable that they also credit for the amazing preservation is the balu, which ‘looks like an over-sized string bean’, according to the WSJ.