Fun Fact of the Week: ¡Edición del día de los muertos!

Although this is coming out after the real Día de los Muertos, a little bit of trivia about dead people never killed anyone! Time to find out some fascinating facts about the deceased as we joyfully honor those who have passed. 

Deathly World Records:

Oldest Person with Age Verified – Jeanne Louise Calment at 122 years (born 1875, died 1997). She outlived both her daughter and grandson and was two years older than the next runner-up. 

Revival after Longest Time Pronounced Dead – Velma Thomas at 17 hours and 10 minutes after Cardiac Arrest. See Lazarus Syndrome for more information. 

Oldest Preserved Human Remains – Ötzi the Iceman at  ~5,300 Years Old. He lived in Switzerland, was 5’10”, wore pants, was lactose intolerant, and was most likely murdered out of spite. 

Best Tombs: 

Largest by Volume – Pyramid of Khufu; The Tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu

Largest by Area – Daisen Kofun; The Tomb of Japanese emperor Nintoku

Prettiest (IMO) – Taj Mahal; The Tomb of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan. 

Most Metal (IMO) – Qin Shi Huang; Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

Catholic Death Stories (To at least somewhat stick to the theme): 

Pope Formosus: Pope Formosus was retrieved from his resting place by the following Pope Stephen VI to be put on trial for violations of canon law and other misdemeanors. Unsurprisingly, the court where he had no defendant (except for a deacon who was made to answer for him) found him guilty. All of his papal acts were revoked and his consecrating fingers were cut off before he was buried, then unburied, then thrown into the river. He was later fished out (said to be performing miracles at the water’s edge), and was properly laid to rest after the overthrow of Pope Stephen VI. 

Rufina Cambaceres: Died in 1902 while getting ready for a night out on her 19th birthday. She was sealed in her tomb after being pronounced dead by three doctors. She was buried soon after, however, two days later, an inspection of the tomb after worries about graverobbing revealed that she had been revived from death, tried to escape her coffin, but was unable to and died again from asphyxiation. The tomb now has a sculpture of Rufina “gazing out at the cemetery while holding shut the door to the very mausoleum that entrapped her.” (Atlas Obscura)

Pomuch Cemetery: This cemetery in Pomuch, Campeche, holds the interesting tradition that, on each day of the dead, the residents of the town gather to ritually clean the bones of their relatives who have been laid to rest in the cemetery. The bodies are allowed to rest for three years, but after that, the bones are cleaned and put on display in a wooden box. Each year, the families return to confront the pain of death and remember their loved ones.

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