Rosalia Lombardo, born in 1918 in Palermo, Italy only made it to the age of two, died of pneumonia in an era without antibiotics and tragic losses such as this were common. Her father, in his immense grief, approached an embalmer for help in preserving his little girl forever. The embalmer used methods that were unknown, but the results were so stunning that, to this day, her body is just magically alive looking. Hers was one of the last bodies added to the Capuchin Catacombs.
It wasn't until recently that the embalmer's formula was found on handwritten paper -
Salafia injected the cadaver with a fluid made of formalin to kill bacteria, alcohol to dry the body, glycerin to keep her from overdrying, salicylic acid to kill fungi, and zinc salts to give her body rigidity. Accordingly, the formula's composition is "one part glycerin, one part formalin saturated with both zinc sulfate and chloride, and one part of an alcohol solution saturated with salicylic acid."
Vladimir Lenin died in 1924 at the age of 53. He was considered one of the most revolutionary thinkers of this time. His is perhaps the most viewed embalmed body of all time.
Saint Bernadette died in 1897. She had reported 18 visitations by a being identified as a small young woman and later became known as the "Lady of Lourdes." Although her body was not embalmed, it was mummified, she is in remarkable shape.
Eva Peron died in 1952 of cancer, but the beloved First Lady of Argentina was embalmed so she could remain with the people forever.
Over 500 years ago, this 15-year-old referred to as La Doncella, was found sitting cross-legged and left with other children in sacrifice by the Inca, having frozen to death and being preserved.
She was stunningly preserved!
He was a Russian Buddhist lama monk who died mid chant in the lotus posture in 1927. His last testament was a simple request to be buried how he was found. True to his wishes, he was buried in the lotus position, wearing the same robes he died in. In 1955, the monks exhumed his body and discovered it to be incorrupt. It was again exhumed in 1973 to the same discovery. In a time when Soviet anti theistic authorities policed the Russian State, the findings were not announced until 2002.
John Torrington, who went on an expedition to the Arctic in 1845 and died of lead poisoning at the early age of 22. He was buried in the icy tundra with some others and nature did its best to permafrost and preserve him. Scientists exhumed the graves in the 1980s to figure out what they died of. They found him amazingly well preserved.
George Mallory went to climb Mt. Everest in 1924. The last time he was seen was 800 feet from the summit. For 75 years, he and his partner, were never seen again. An expedition in 1999 found the two men. Mallory was face down and very well preserved.
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