adBlockCheck

Egyptian Conservationists Fight To Protect Dwindling Mummy Population

Top Headlines

International

Goals Of The Paris Climate Talks

Over 150 world leaders are meeting in Paris this week to address the global effects of climate change in the hopes that a unified international effort can avert grave future consequences for the planet. Here are the major goals of the Paris climate talks

How Refugees Are Admitted Into The U.S.

The United States’ effort to accept Syrian refugees seeking asylum has been the subject of much controversy over security concerns and the rigor of the vetting process. Here are the steps involved in a refugee’s arrival in America

Strategies To Defeat ISIS

Following last week’s deadly Paris attacks and numerous other violent incidents perpetrated by the terror group ISIS, many governments and populations worldwide are wondering how we can eliminate this threat. Here are some strategies to defeat the Islamic State:

Obama Returns From Trade Summit With 5 Stout Ships Full Of Cardamom, Silk, And Indigo

WASHINGTON— Exhausted, berimed with salt, and haggard from his long sea journey, but nevertheless triumphant as he guided his fleet to port following the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Barack Obama is said to have made harbor in Washington, D.C.’s anchorage Monday, his five sturdy galleons choked to the very gunwales with the finest silks, casks of redolent cardamom, and great cakes of vivid dye-of-indigo retrieved from the far Orient.

Goals Of The U.N. General Assembly

The 70th United Nations General Assembly takes place this week, with member countries focusing on plans to address global sustainability, economic growth, and the Syrian refugee crisis, among other major topics. Here are the main goals of this year’s assembly:

Pope Francis’ U.S. Itinerary

Pope Francis is making his first visit to the U.S. this week, with stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia as he speaks to government officials and conducts large-scale masses. Here is a full itinerary of the pope’s visit

A Primer On Pope Francis’ Views

Pope Francis has garnered much international attention in the first two and a half years of his papacy, taking a more liberal approach to women’s issues, the family unit, and the environment than his predecessors. Here is a primer on prominent global issues and the pope’s views on them:

Shoddy Chinese-Made Stock Market Collapses

SHANGHAI—Proving to be just as flimsy and precarious as many observers had previously warned, the Chinese-made Shanghai Composite index completely collapsed Monday, sources confirmed.

Why Westerners Join ISIS

With more than 150 Americans accused of attempting to fight alongside ISIS in Syria and countless young Europeans allegedly joining or supporting the terrorist group, many are left wondering what a population of extremists has to offer Westerners a world away. Here are some reasons these people might want to ally with ISIS

Nicaraguan Diplomat Drops Deadly Spider Onto John Kerry’s Blanket

ISLA GRANDE DEL MAÍZ, NICARAGUA—Creeping stealthily into the bungalow where John Kerry lay sleeping after a trade summit Thursday, Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Santos López, illuminated only by a sliver of moon, reportedly slid open the lid of a small pine box and released a deadly Brazilian wandering spider onto the blanket of his American counterpart.

What’s Next For U.S.-Cuban Relations

After 54 years of closure, the U.S. embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. each began flying their flags once more this week, a symbol of the restored diplomatic ties between the two nations. Here is what we can expect from the relationship going forward

U.S. Soothes Upset Netanyahu With Shipment Of Ballistic Missiles

WASHINGTON—Following Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s heated objections to the nuclear deal struck between the United States and Iran, American officials announced Tuesday that they were calming the upset head of government by treating him to a nice, big shipment of ballistic missiles.

World Begins Another Day At Mercy Of 19-Year-Old Estonian Hacker

TALLINN, ESTONIA—With the private data of national governments and entire global industries at his fingertips, sources confirmed this morning that yet another day had begun with the whole world helplessly at the mercy of 19-year-old Estonian computer hacker Jüri Pevkur.

FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

Global Soccer Tournament To Kick Off In America Later This Afternoon

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup.

Items Found In Bin Laden’s Compound

On Wednesday, the U.S. government declassified more than 400 documents and other material seized from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout during the 2011 raid that resulted in his death. Here are some of the items found in the former al-Qaeda leader’s compound

U.S. Worried About Living Up To Netanyahu Campaign Promises

WASHINGTON—Saying the Likud Party leader had set Israeli citizens’ expectations extremely high in the run up to his reelection Tuesday, top-level sources expressed their worry Wednesday about whether the United States would actually be able to...

A Timeline Of U.S.-Israel Relations

A congressional visit from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that has reportedly rankled President Obama is the latest issue in what have often been strained diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Mankind Tired Of Having To Remind Itself Of Good In World

PARIS—In the wake of this week’s terrorist attacks on French newspaper Charlie Hebdo and two ensuing armed standoffs that together left over a dozen innocent civilians dead, humankind admitted Friday that it is sick and tired of having ...

Schlubs From U.S., China Meet In Lowest-Level Talks

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA—In an effort to strengthen diplomatic ties between the global superpowers’ most oafish representatives, sources confirmed Thursday that schlubs from the United States and China met in Australia this week for a series of low...

Iranian Team Openly Working On Bomb In Negotiating Room

VIENNA—Asserting the Middle Eastern nation’s right to a safe, peaceful energy program, members of the Iranian diplomatic team attempted to seek more favorable terms of a deal with the P5+1 global powers while openly assembling a nuclear weapon...

Where Is Kim Jong-Un?

North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un has not been seen in public since September 3. Here is the latest speculation on his whereabouts

How China Stifles Dissent

Recent clashes with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have refocused international scrutiny on the Chinese government’s efforts to quell social unrest and silence demonstrators.

Nation Admits It Could Probably Be Talked Into Another War

WASHINGTON—While they acknowledged that getting behind such a plan might take a little convincing, the American populace admitted this week that they could, in all likelihood, be talked into another war. Citizens across the nation told reporters tha...

Ugly Custody Battle Over Ian McKellen Narrowly Avoided

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—Following Scotland’s referendum Thursday rejecting independence from the United Kingdom, sources confirmed that a protracted and ugly custody battle over celebrated actor Sir Ian McKellen had been narrowly avoided.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Nightlife

Ugh, This A Place Where Bartenders Wear Bow Tie

PITTSBURGH—Saying they should have known from the moment they walked in the unmarked speakeasy entrance and spotted the extensive wood paneling, customers confirmed Friday that, ugh, this is one of those places where the bartenders all wear bow ties.

Satisfaction

Egyptian Conservationists Fight To Protect Dwindling Mummy Population

CAIRO—As the sun sets over Cairo, the streets are eerily quiet. Just a few years ago, the hillsides from Luxor to Giza would have been buzzing with the familiar sounds of tomb doors creaking open and bones snapping under the methodical shuffling of a slow, catatonic gait. But the telltale signs of Egypt's indigenous mummy population have fallen silent recently, and the fearsome creatures that once lurched freely across the Valley of the Kings are disappearing at an alarming rate. If nothing is done, experts say, the Egyptian mummy will soon go the way of the Bavarian lycanthrope or the Transylvanian vampire, and vanish forever.

The majestic monsters once roamed freely across the Valley of the Kings.

Afterlife Preservation Society president James Amarcas said he can recall a time when Egyptians did not have to go to a museum, but could look out their window and see an entire herd of shroud-wrapped forms staggering on missions of revenge.

"My grandchildren have still never seen a mummy," said Amarcas, who vividly recalls his first mummy sighting in 1947, when he was just 3 years old. "These terrible monsters are little more than a legend to them. It's sad to think they might never see the bloodthirsty march of an undead Egyptian prince on a cool, calm night."

Prospects for Egypt's mummies are grim. A population that reached more than 12,000 in 1970 has today dropped to less than 300.

More alarmingly, it appears their natural lifecycle has been permanently disrupted. The Sakkara region had long supported a small number of looters and adventurers dismissive of natives' warnings about supernatural curses, prompting the ancient dormant creatures to emerge and seek fresh revenge—a natural cycle of death and rebirth that for centuries insured a regular habitat for the mummies.

Modern advances, however, have strained this delicate balance. Many of the slow-moving creatures are crushed each year on the superhighways that surround Cairo. Hydroelectric dams along the Nile River destroy countless mummies when rising waters soak through their dusty rags and dissolve their arid, desiccated bodies.

Four millennia ago, Egyptians attempted to preserve their mummies for eternity with deadly curses meant to kill or ward off potential invaders. But the old ways seem to have little effect on modern poachers who bring mummies to the Western world and sell them for millions of dollars to collectors and museums.

In response, a coalition group has proposed the so-called Mummy Conservation Act to the Egyptian Parliament, which aims to create a refuge to protect mummies, relocating them to reserves where they can guard their stone amulets in peace.

"In addition, inhabited tombs would be put on 24-hour surveillance, mummies would be tagged with tracking collars, and many items would be banned from all tombs," Amarcas said. "Especially torches, as mummies are very susceptible to fire."

The bill would also put severe restrictions on tourists eager to catch a glimpse of the breathtaking monsters.

"These people have no respect for the mummies' environment, and do irreparable harm to the precious crowns, elaborate masks, and golden staffs the mummies need to survive in the afterlife," mummy activist Adjo Quaashie said. "Without these most basic worldly possessions, the mummy is rendered helpless on its voyage to the next world on the barge of the god Osiris."

"Shawabti shobek, djed dromos, ankh amun!" Quaashie added, invoking an ancient incantation for raising the dead.

Experts suspect many mummies have simply become disoriented and wandered off their usual migratory paths, while others are thought to be doggedly pursuing trespassers who disturbed their sanctuaries, even as the foreign visitors return to their home countries thousands of miles away.

Most conservation groups, however, stress that Egyptians should focus on preserving the mummies that still remain, though recent efforts to increase their numbers by breeding them in captivity have failed, since mummies are dead and therefore cannot reproduce.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close