A pair of 3,000-year-old mummified corpses that were recently discovered in Scotland have been labeled ‘The Frankenstein Corpses’ after it was discovered by researchers that they are actually composed of body parts originating from six different people.
The mummified corpses were discovered in Cladh Hallan, an archaeological site on the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. It is the only location in Great Britain where prehistoric mummies have been discovered.
National Geographic reports that isotopic dating and DNA experiments revealed the unusual pairing of body parts. The tests also revealed that the body parts were assembled and buried together more than 600 years after death, meaning that the assemblage was almost certainly deliberate.
However, it remains unclear exactly why the corpses were put together.
Lead researcher and University of Manchester professor Terry Brown says the answer could be simple and somewhat morbid: The original body parts may have simply been plugged in as a convenience to replace missing pieces.
“Maybe the head dropped off and they got another head to stick on,” he said.
Fellow researcher and University of Sheffield professor Mike Parker Pearson told LiveScience that the parts could have been more specifically put together to show the connected lineage between families other time.
“Rights to land would have depended on ancestral claims, so perhaps having the ancestors around ‘in the flesh’ was their prehistoric equivalent of a legal document,” Parker Pearson said.
“Merging different body parts of ancestors into a single person could represent the merging of different families and their lines of descent,” Parker Pearson said. “Perhaps this was a prelude to building the row of houses in which numerous different families are likely to have lived.”
Brown tells National Geographic he believes researchers will discover more composite-like bodies on the island. In fact, he said such mummified corpses may have already been discovered but can only be verified by comparing the DNA of various body parts.
“I think you’d have to go back to a time when the rituals were more bizarre,” Brown said of finding similar corpses. “You’d have to go back to the mists of unrecorded time.”
A pick-up truck overturned on a motorway in Sichuan province, China, and 16 bodies tumbled onto the tarmac.
Police initially thought that they had stumbled on a serial killer.
They sealed off the road in Luozhou but abandoned a murder hunt when the driver turned out to be a professor from the city’s medical school who’d bought the bodies for his students to use in class.
“They began to go off pretty quickly once they were stretched out in the sun. The smell was sickening,” said one motorist.
Police summoned ambulances from a nearby morgue to take the bodies to their their final resting place – in the college fridge.
Now the college is facing furious public criticism for carrying bodies “without dignity” on the back of a truck.
A spokesman for the Luozhou Medical School said:”We bought the bodies legally and fairly.
“They are the remains of unclaimed murder victims, street people who have died and criminals who have been executed.”
Demon pigs with a taste of human flesh have invaded a cemetery in the town of Birem in Ghana.
These pigs are not letting the dead rest in peace, as they are digging up the carcasses and then feasting on them afterwards.
The man-eating pigs, from the cemetery, also run into a stream that provides drinking water for residents in the area, and pollute the water.
Now families of the deceased have the gruesome task of saving their loved-ones remains and reburying them.
The pigs come from farms around the area, where the farmers are not providing proper enclosures for their stock. The result is that the pigs run wild.
Leaders in Birem have appealed to the government to come to their aid and stop the marauding pigs from causing more havoc.
‘I am, on behalf of my people, passionately appealing to the government to come to our aid by instructing the pig owners to provide shelter for the pigs to stop them from entering the cemetery,’ traditional leader, Nana Baffuor Agyekum said on Kessben FM.
Two of the pigs were killed and brought to the leader’s palace. He then summoned the owners of the pigs to his palace and released the two dead animals to them, warning them to provide shelter for the animals to prevent them from entering the cemetery in future.
He then went with other elders to the cemetery and conducted ceremonies to pacify the now restless spirits f the deceased.
The Birem Chief said he then informed the police, the DCE of the area and the Environmental Protection Agency to get involved to ensure that the pig owners would not let their animals loose again.
To avert any trouble or bloodshed, the Birem chief implored the government and the appropriate authorities to intervene immediately since the man-eating animals were gradually getting out of hand.