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“Mummy’s Curse”

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“Mummy’s Curse”

The curse of the mummy began when many terrible events happened after the discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb. Legend has it that anyone who dared to open the tomb would suffer the wrath of the mummy. Many believe the curse is still a mystery, to others it is just superstition, but there are yet others who truly believe in the curse. Most theories lead to more medical issues or misleading information from reporters at that time to sell a story. Media belonged to newspapers and information traveled much slower and not very reliable. People were more superstitious then, and the media took full advantage of that to sell publications and often made up facts to sensationalize stories.
One of the explanations was the tomb’s toxins; studies have shown some ancient mummies carried mold, including Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus, which can cause congestion or bleeding in the lungs. Lung-assaulting bacteria such as Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus may also grow on tomb walls. It is believed that when tombs were first opened, fresh air could have disturbed these spores, blowing them into the air, and perhaps, creating health problems. Gotthard Kramer, a German microbiologist from the University of Leipzip believes that the cause of the curse is some type of mold spores. Kramer studied 40 different mummies; he identified several potentially dangerous mold spores. Dr. Hans Merk, a dermatologist at the University of Aachen, Germany, performed similar research and analyzed dust and rock samples from tombs and found primarily three types of mold: Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus terreus and Cephalosporium (Acremonium) species; all of these species are toxic.
They also provided meats, fruits, vegetables, clothing, ornaments, furniture, statues of their Gods and anything else thought to aid the pharaoh’s travel to the afterlife. These items after 3000 years were sure to attract insects and bacteria. Dr. Stenger-Phillip, a French medical doctor; stated that since there were fruits and vegetables in the tomb, it was very likely that they grew mold and formed organic dust particles. These particles may have had a high allergenic potency. Dr. Stenger-Phillip also claimed that the archaeologists that had opened the tomb for the first time had an allergic reaction after breathing and inhaling these particles which led to their death.
Howard Carter never believed in the curse, might that be why he was not affected by it? We may never know the truth but the legend of the mummy’s curse seems destined to never die.

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