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This Buddha statue has a secret mummy inside, scan reveals

(Courtesy of Drents Museum)

Buddha statues couldn’t be more common. They dot foggy mountain tops throughout Southeast Asia and line college dorm rooms. But this Buddha statue is more than a little different.

It has a mummy inside.

According to an examination at Norway’s Meander Medical Center, in which scientists flipped the statue on its back for a CT scan, its bronze-like exterior actually hides a 1,000 year-old mummy. Though details remain a little sketchy, some reports called it the first of its kind.

Until last September, the mummy was on exhibition at the Drents Museum. “On the outside, it looks like a large statue of Buddha,” the museum said in a release. “Scan research has shown that on the inside, it is the mummy of a Buddhist monk who lived around the year 1100.”

This is a globe-trotting mummy statue, however. And it’s now on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Budapest. By May of 2015, according to a Drents Museum spokesman, it will be off to Luxembourg.

Researchers suspect the statue may be a case of “self-mummification,” which is in fact as horrifying as it sounds.

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