This story is reminiscent of the plot of one of the episodes of ” The X-Files “. The body of a man was found near a railway line in Sofia, Bulgaria on September 3. Law enforcement later confirmed that the body belonged to a 34-year-old man suffering from alcoholism, who was last seen 16 days ago, writes IFLScience.
What seems surprising in this story is that the discovered body was completely mummified, despite the fact that only a little more than two weeks had passed since the man went missing. The fact is that, as a rule, the process of human mummification takes up to a year on average – this time everything happened extremely quickly.
Researchers examined the body and found that the brain, intestines and other organs of the dead man were shriveled and dried out. However, scientists could not explain why this happened so quickly.
Describing the state of the mummified body, the study authors note that the surface of the skin was light to dark brown in color, and was also hard and leathery. At the same time, an internal examination of the body showed that the organs in the chest and abdominal cavities, as well as the brain, had decomposed and turned into brownish-black masses.
This state of the body greatly puzzled scientists. The fact is that mummification is a labor-intensive process that usually takes 6-12 months. Such a transformation in a few weeks is also possible, but under conditions of extreme heat and drought, when daytime temperatures do not fall below 30 degrees Celsius and the average humidity does not fall below 50%.
In addition, natural mummification requires a level of solar radiation of about 600 W per square meter, and wind speeds of about 32 kilometers per hour can speed up this process. Given all these factors, the body can actually dry out quickly enough to stop the decomposition process and turn it into a mummy.
However, the problem is that during these 16 days, during which no one saw the deceased, the temperature in Sofia ranged from 16 to 33 degrees Celsius, which is outside the range necessary for mummification of the body.
In addition, the relative humidity was 52% and the average solar radiation did not exceed 257.9 W per square meter. The wind speed was also lower than necessary, and therefore the authors of the study were quite surprised.
Scientists believe that trains passing by could have contributed to the mummification of the man’s body – they created the wind conditions necessary for the evaporation of fluid from the body. However, one way or another, the weather conditions observed in Sofia at that time in no way contributed to the transformation of the body into a mummy.
The study authors believe that more additional tests will be needed to unravel the mystery of this mysterious body mummification in Bulgaria.