As a cynic, sceptic and disbeliever of all things supernatural, I'm usually not particularly perturbed by apparently 'creepy' videos which wash-up on the internet. I mean, usually they're just grease on a camera lens, a dude in a ape-suit or something equally benign. However, I have to say, this latest one of a blinking mummified girl in Italy did send a slight chill down my spine.
The Blinking Mummy
First, some background. Back in 1599, the monks of Capuchin in Palermo, Italy decided it might be fun and holy to mummify the remains of their brothers. Eventually, the villagers around the monastery also got in on the action and started to embalm the dead and intern them in catacombs. Indeed, the tradition only ended in 1920, once space in the burial chambers had filled up.
One of the last bodies to undergo the process was that of Rosalia Lombardo, an unfortunate 2 year old girl who died of pneumonia. Her body is one of the best preserved in the catacombs, but it also does something else which has garnered a lot of attention. Rosalia Lombardo blinks. Take a look for yourself in the video below:
What Is Causing This?
Of course, as is customary with anything slightly creepy, there is a supernatural explanation. Some have claimed the blinking illustrates the spirit of Rosalia is attempting to free herself from her mortal remains, but she is unable because she is so well preserved.
Alternatively, there are several scientific explanations. The video description itself claims experts have suggested the blinking is due to a change of temperature in the room throughout the day, but there is another, even less creepy explanation. It's all about light.
According to Dario Piombino-Mascali, the curator of the Capuchin Catacombs, the phenomenon only started to occur once Rosalia had been moved into her current position. The fact it happens over the length of the day at exactly the same intervals also adds some credence to this explanation. Piombino-Mascali explained:
It's an optical illusion produced by the light that filters through the side windows, which during the day is subject to change. [Her eyelids] are not completely closed, and indeed they have never been.
So there you have it. There was a scientific explanation, which means I might actually be able to sleep tonight after all.
Which explanation do you believe?