"Sleeping Beauty" mummy buried in an Italian catacomb appears to open and close her eyes

Anita Durairaj

The "Sleeping Beauty" mummyPhoto byCredit: Maria la sposo; Public Domain Image

The "Sleeping Beauty" mummy is the embalmed body of a two-year-old girl who died in 1920.

Rosalio Lombardo was born in Palermo, Italy in 1918. Just one week before her second birthday, she died of pneumonia. Her grief-stricken father requested that her remains be preserved.

Rosalio's body was preserved by a Sicilian embalmer. Her body was then admitted to the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo.

The Capuchin Catacombs have served as burial catacombs since the 1600s and hold up to 8000 mummies.

Rosalio's embalmed body stored in the catacomb is considered to be one of the best-preserved mummies in the world. Her organs are still intact. Her body is kept in a glass enclosure with nitrogen gas to prevent decay.

One of the most interesting aspects of Rosalio's embalmed body is that visitors to the catacombs have mentioned that her eyes actually look like they are blinking. Her eyelids have been seen to open and close.

The curator of the catacombs has stated that Rosalio's eyes were never fully closed and that it was simply an optical illusion. Another theory is that temperature changes inside her crypt could have caused her eyelids to move.

Regardless of the cause of Rosalio's eye movement, she is claimed to be the world's most beautiful mummy.

The Capuchin Catacombs remain a tourist attraction in Palermo. There are about 160 children interred in the catacomb along with Rosalio.

Researchers are hoping to continue studying the child mummies to determine their cause of death and insight into their brief lives.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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