There are several myths about The Great Wall of China; the most recognized myth would possibly be that the wall is the only man-made item noticeable from outer space, which is not at all true. Though, there is a much more ghoulish myth about the Great Wall that is fairly popular.

We know that building the Great Wall was an immense effort that likely involved millions of workers during the years. Numerous people who labored on the wall died while working on the assignment. This has led to the myth that there are possibly hundreds of thousands of bodies buried inside the remaining wall itself.

According to experts, this is very doubtful—though it’s difficult to prove either way. They claim that it would have significantly weakened the configuration, because the bodies would have produced air pockets as they decayed within the walls.

Still, there could be a definite component of truth to the story. Long before the current Ming Wall was built, there was another lost wall known as the Qin Wall. A domineering emperor of the same name ordered this wall’s production. Several legends claim there were so many deaths throughout the assembly that they just dug lots of graves and dropped the bodies right in. Though, even in these legends the deceased are not truly entombed inside the walls, as that would have been an unrealistic idea. They were simply buried nearby, as a matter of pure convenience—not to please the impulses of an outrageous dictator who believed a wall crammed with bodies was a good idea.

Everybody has heard stories of the mummy’s curse. The legends will say that somebody entered a tomb, disturbed the remains or stole a holy object, and was then cursed by the powers of a bitter spirit. Of course, there is no proof beyond stories that there is any such thing as a mummy’s curse, but that has never stopped the storytellers. One-tale claims that centuries ago when Napoleon was doing his thing, he was swinging by Egypt and wanted to take a look at the pyramids at Giza. In order to fulfill a particularly narcissistic desire, the self-styled Emperor wanted to spend the night in the pharaoh’s tomb in the Great Pyramid.

The stories claim that Napoleon stayed the whole night in the tomb as intended, but he looked horrified upon exiting the tomb the next morning. He then clammed up about the experience, and he tried to never discuss about it again. According to legend, he nearly considered telling all the details of what happened to him upon his deathbed, but he decided not to because he didn’t think anyone would actually believe his wild claims. Unfortunately, his administrator—who journeyed with him—said that Napoleon never spent the night in a tomb.

Oldest marijuana stash, 2,700 years old!

In 2008, nearly two pounds of still-green plant material were found in a 2,700-year-old grave in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. It was identified as the world’s oldest marijuana stash.

A barrage of tests proves that the marijuana possessed potent psychoactive properties and casts doubt on the theory that the ancients only grew the plant for hemp in order to make clothing, rope, and other objects. They apparently were getting high, too. Lead author Ethan Russo told Discovery News that the marijuana “is quite similar” to what’s grown today.

NBC News Story

The Weerdinge Men were uncovered by a farmer in 1904 in a peat bog in the Netherlands. They have been radiocarbon-dated to between 160 BC and 220 AD. One of the bodies has a hole in the chest through which the intestines spilled out. The cause of death for the other is unknown. It is suspected that the Weerdinge Men may have been victims of cruel punishment or ritual killing.

The lack of oxygen and unusual chemistry of the bog water kept the bodies preserved for roughly 1,980 years. After their discovery, the bodies were rolled up, wrung out, and stuffed in a box to be transported to the morgue.

King Tutankhamun was mummified with his heart carved out, covered in black liquids, his penis kept erect—but why? Egyptologist Salima Ikram has an answer: that Tut was buried to resemble the underworld god Osiris as a way of battling a religious revolution that was gaining momentum in Egypt, LiveScience reports. Either Tut or his embalmers believed that his disguise would help fortify Egypt’s multiple-god religion and stamp out a new movement spearheaded by Akhenaten, a pharaoh who was probably Tutankhamun’s father. Akhenaten wanted Egyptians to worship Aten, the sun disc, and he promoted his crusade by desecrating images of other gods.

So embalmers made Tutankhamun look like Osiris: black oils and resins to recreate the dark skin, an erect penis to signify Osiris’ regenerative powers, and the carved-out heart because Osiris’ brother Seth had cut out and buried Osiris’ heart. Ikram admits it’s all theory, but it does bring the mystery of Tut’s burial full circle to Howard Carter, who discovered the mummy in 1922 and noted that “the king was indeed being shown as Osiris, more than was usual in royal burials.” (For more, see why Tut “spontaneously combusted” in his coffin.)

 

 

A rare fossil of a rhinoceros that roamed what is now Turkey reveals the tale of a sudden violent death—by volcano, 9.2 million years ago. The ancient rhino’s skull and jaw have a rough surface and brittle teeth. Paleontologist Pierre-Olivier Antoine of the University of Montpellier in France thinks that’s because volcanic rock fragments from the Cardak caldera pelted the rhino. A speeding river of ash and rock probably dismembered the animal and “baked” its skull at temperatures reaching 840ºF (450°C).

Just 2 percent of fossils are found in volcanic rock, because the heat usually incinerates organic matter. It’s even rarer to find a mammal fossil.

The skull and jaw of the rhino found in Cappadocia, central Turkey, weigh 66 pounds (30 kilograms). They are thought to have belonged to a large two-horned rhino, Ceratotherium neumayri, a species common in the Eastern Mediterranean Province during the late Miocene.

The world’s oldest known mattress unearthed in South Africa.

The mattress—which consists of layers of reeds and rushes—was discovered at the bottom of a pile of bedding made from compacted grasses and leafy plants. The bedding had accumulated at the Sibudu Cave site in KwaZulu-Natal over a period of 39,000 years, with the oldest mats dating to 77,000 years ago. “What we have is evidence of plant bedding that is 50,000 years older than any previous site anywhere in the world,” said study leader Lyn Wadley of the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The compacted layers of fossil plants—excavated from sediments 9.8 feet (3 meters) deep—show that the bedding was periodically burned, possibly to limit pests and garbage.

Insect-Repelling “Top Sheet”

What’s more, researchers believe the ancient people added a “top sheet” to the bedding made of insect-repelling greenery, possibly to ward off biting bugs such as mosquitoes and flies. This fine covering of leaves may also represent the earliest known use of medicinal plants by humans. The leaves are from the tree Cryptocarya woodii, or river wild-quince, a medicinal plant that produces insect-killing chemicals. While there’s no evidence that the cave dwellers suffered from bed bugs, they likely used the leaves to counteract body lice, Wadley said.

Comfortable Bedding for Whole Family

At an estimated 12 inches (30 centimeters) or so high, the mattresses would’ve been a “very comfortable” and “quite long-lasting form of bedding,” Wadley said. Measuring up to 22 square feet (2 square meters), the beds were also large enough to accommodate a whole family. For modern hunter-gatherers, such as the Inuit and Kalahari Bushmen, “the idea of just one or two people sleeping on a bed is unknown,” she noted. “Hunter-gatherers tend to live with each other in kinship groups. It was probably the same in the Stone Age—parents, children, grannies, and all sorts of people using the same bed.”

This stone mask from the pre-ceramic neolithic period dates to 7000 BC and is probably the oldest mask in the world.

Reminds me a little of this guy…

jason-mask-cabinet-of-curiosities