|Mondo Bizarro||Feb 18 2023|
Mystical powers of mummy are no match for mystical powers of scientists.
It may look like a monkey's head sewn onto a fish's body, but the freakish horror you see in the image above is actually a revered mummy that has been worshipped by some people in Japan since the 1700s. Its normal residence is a box in a temple in Okayama Prefecture, where it ended up after allegedly being found in the Pacific Ocean, off Shikoku Island, between 1736 and 1741. It quickly became known for bestowing mystical health cures and increased longevity, and acquired that reputation, we're sure, without any suggestion from the temple priests. Then it caught the attention of paleontologists at the Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts, and—who'd have thought it?—this week they pronounced the mummy a fake.
Leave it to scientists to drain the magic and wonder from irrational belief systems by actually figuring things out. It's almost like they enjoy triggering existential crises. Amazingly, they worked for an entire year on ruining this particular mystery. We know because stories like the one at this link began popping up in early 2022. Scientists, in addition to being killjoys, are slow. The scientific community is fine with that, and we can all only wish the same were true of the communities at our jobs.But moving at the speed of molasses is a positive of science, not a negative, because science takes its sweet time to get things right. They've done that here, using computerized tomography scans and other tests, and discovered the mummy is exactly what any set of rational eyes would assume it to be—animal parts embellished with papier-mâché.
But here's what interests us about the story. The object actually is quite old. Scientists carbon dated it back to at least the 1800s, which in our opinion makes it something more than just a fake—it's an antique. And if it isn't one of the oldest cryptids ever put into physical form, we'd be surprised. We bet if the priests in Okayama sold it they'd profit handsomely. Hell, we'd happily buy it and hang it in Pulp HQ to enthrall and enchant our girlfriends. But assuming the temple priests wanted more than a hundred bucks for it, they could auction it. Some internet billionaire might want it. With the yen acquired the priests could perform a few good works—minor miracles themselves. And if disappointed masses in the prefecture need a replacement mummy to worship, we suggest Mother God. She never healed anyone, but at least she didn't live in a box.
Hi, Mother God here. I've departed my physical form, but I still heart all of you.