Unraveled: Why Chile's Chinchorro Mummies Are Turning into Black Ooze

March 10, 2015 4:09 AM

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Unraveled: Why Chile's Chinchorro Mummies Are Turning into Black Ooze

The famous Chinchorro mummies, which have remained preserved in Chile for more than 7,000 years, are now under threat from increased levels of moisture.

Humid air is allowing bacteria to grow, causing the mummies' skin "to go black and become gelatinous," said Ralph Mitchell, a professor emeritus of applied biology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who examined the rotting mummies.

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