A 2-year-old who died in Italy in 1920 has been perfectly preserved to this day. Rosalia Lombardo, who died over 90 years
ago from pneumonia, still just looks like she’s sleeping. She resides in a glass coffin in Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo,
Italy. As one of the world’s best-preservedbodies, she has been a consistent source of frustrations for embalmers and taxidermists for decades. Recently, anthropologists have uncovered the secret to her pristine preservation that her original embalmer took with him to the grave in 1933. As it turns out, Ms Lombardo was preserved with a combination of formalin, zinc salts, alcohol, salicylic acid, and glycerin. Formalin, to kill bacteria, salicylic acid to kill fungi, alcohol to dry the body out and mummify it, and glycerin to keep her from getting too dry. Embalmers don’t use zinc anymore, but that’s supposedly the key ingredient for Lombardo’s successful embalming.


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