Quiz Answer 5
Myth 5. Mummies look as if they are alive.
Fact: Mummies usually look very different from the living.
Despite their differences, mummies of the world share another common trait: unwrapped or undressed, most resemble a person from which the fluids have been removed. Unless the mummy has been packed with sawdust or powder, or surrounded by liquid, the face and body will look shriveled, wrinkled, and tightly drawn. Its eyeballs will often be missing. Sometimes the skin will be soft; other times, it will be quite dry and brittle — this depends on the method that created the mummy. In other words, most human mummies do not really look like living persons.
Consider author Carol Andrews's description of the Egyptian mummification process: after forty days of preparation, a person's body
was much darker in color and up to 75 percent lighter in weight. The arms and legs were like matchsticks but the trunk was sleeved in loose, rather rubbery skin, for most of the muscles and soft tissues had been broken down or dissolved.
This doesn't sound like someone you'd pass walking down the street.