The mummified body of a little "sleeping beauty" who "blinks her eyes"
We live in a world where the process of preparing the dead for eternal rest is becoming simpler, so mummification is sure to sink into oblivion. Existing mummies, despite the embalming process, decay over time, retaining only their most basic body structure. The example we are talking about here is a hundred-year-old girl's body, which is so perfectly preserved that it looks as if the girl is sleeping.
The father hires renowned expert Alfred Salafi
After her death, Rosalie's father hired a well-known embalming and taxidermy expert, Alfred Salafi, to mummify her body to make what seemed longer alive. This father's desire was probably the result of a desire to provide comfort to the family.
Salafi did a great job so that the girl looks perfectly preserved even a hundred years after her death, and she still rightly retains the nickname "sleeping beauty". Her body is considered the best preserved famous mummy in the world.
Due to its preservation, her body has become an attraction that has both interested and frightened curious tourists because of the impression that the girl's eyelids open and close from time to time.
The curator of the Capuchin catacombs in Palermo, Dario Piombino-Mascali, addressed this phenomenon and concluded that this was an optical illusion caused by several factors. Examining Rosalie's body, he learned that the girl's eyes were not completely closed, and since her coffin was placed so that it was exposed to light, changing the angle of light results in this illusion.
Salafi departed from the classical mummification process!
In order to investigate the reasons why the girl's body is in such good condition, Piombino-Mascali sought documentation on the work of Alfred Salafi, in which he found detailed information on the mummification of the girl's body. Unlike the classic procedure in which the internal organs are removed, and then the empty shell is filled with sodium salts to dry the body; Salafi injected a mixture of formalin, zinc salt, alcohol, salicylic acid and glycerin into her body, from which he did not remove organs. Each of these ingredients had its own specific task, so formalin killed all bacteria, glycerin ensured that the body did not dry out, etc. Among the most important injected ingredients was zinc salt, which allowed the body to petrify, which did not cause, for example, decay cheeks and nasal part of the face.
A recent scan of her body by computed tomography (CT) showed that the girl's organs were perfectly preserved.
Rosalie's mummy is one of 8,000 mummies in the Capuchin catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, and one of the last to be received here. Despite good preservation, experts noticed the first signs of decay in 2009, which is why they suggest making a special coffin of glass and steel that would be filled with nitrogen to destroy microorganisms, with a constant temperature of 20 degrees and a humidity of 65 percent. The family opposes this proposal and believes that the girl's body should be allowed to rest in peace.