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Chinchorro mummy. Source: Pablo Trincado / CC by SA 2.0.

The Deadly Toxin Found in the World's Oldest Mummies (Video)


The Chinchorro mummies, dating back up to 7,000 years, are an ancient treasure that predates the well-known Egyptian mummies by thousands of years. Found in Chile's Atacama desert, these mummies gained global attention in 2021 when they were recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. However, alongside their historical significance, these mummies hold a mysterious secret. Scientists have discovered that the Chinchorro mummies release a deadly toxin. The inhabitants of Arica, Chile, who live in close proximity to these mummies, have been exposed to this toxin for centuries, with the mummies literally resting just inches above their homes.

This deadly substance has intrigued researchers, who are now studying the mummies to unravel the secrets behind this enigmatic toxin. Understanding the nature of this toxin could provide valuable insights into the mummification process used by the Chinchorro people. It may also shed light on their cultural practices, beliefs, and the environmental conditions they lived in. By analyzing the toxins, scientists hope to gain a deeper understanding of this ancient civilization and the mysteries surrounding their unique mummification techniques.

Top image: Chinchorro mummy. Source: Pablo Trincado / CC by SA 2.0.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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