Nearly 1,000-Year-Old Mummy Lies Inside Statue of Buddha

A scan reveals the body of a nearly 1,000-year-old Buddhist monk inside the statue of Buddha. (PHOTO CREDIT: Drents Museum)
A scan reveals the body of a nearly 1,000-year-old Buddhist monk inside the statue of Buddha. (PHOTO CREDIT: Drents Museum)

Researchers at the Drents Museum in the Netherlands made a shocking discovery when they imaged an ancient Chinese statue and found a nearly 1,000-year-old mummy inside.

Sitting in the lotus position, the mummy fits within the statue perfectly.

“On the outside, it looks like a large statue of Buddha,” the museum said in a release. “Scan research has shown that on the inside, it is the mummy of a Buddhist monk who lived around the year 1100.”

Glowing through the statue’s golden cast, the human skeleton is believed to belong to Buddhist master Liu Quan, a member of the Chinese Meditation School.

To further investigate the mummy, the researchers took the statue to the Meander Medical Center in Amersfoort and carried out an endoscopy and additional CT scans.

They found out that Liu Quan’s internal organs had been removed and replaced with scripts covered in Chinese writing.

The museum speculates Liu Quan may have “self-mummified” in order to become a “living Buddha.”

Practiced mainly in Japan, self-mummification was a grueling process that required a monk to follow a strict 1,000-day diet of nuts and seeds in order to strip the body of fat. A diet of bark and roots would follow for another 1,000 days.

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SOURCE: Discovery News, Rossella Lorenzi

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