Tucked away in Palermo, Italy's Capuchin Catacombs lies the final resting place of the world's most beautiful mummy. They call her ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ and she's so well-preserved that you might even think she's alive... especially when she blinks at you.
In 1920, Rosalia Lombardo was only two years old when she died from pneumonia. Little is known about Rosalia's short life, but after her death she was embalmed by Alfredo Salafia, a mortician so skilled that his work not not only looks better than much of the embalming performed today, but it wasn't until recently that his actual technique was rediscovered and understood. MRIs taken just five years ago show that each of Rosalia's tiny organs are still intact, a sign that points all the way back to Egyptian methods of mummification.
But Rosalia's preservation is only part of the reason that she remains such a popular attraction. Now, almost an entire century after her death, visitors say that Rosalia actually blinks her eyes inside her glass coffin. Recently captured time-lapse photos appear to show her eyelids eerily opening and closing, her blue eyes undamaged and glistening in the catacomb lights.
While numerous theories about “Sleeping Beauty” and her mysterious winking performances have flooded the internet, from those who believe the little girl's restless spirit still resides in her pristine body, to those who blame the changing humidity catacombs for the strange phenomena, nearly all who view her can agree that she truly is one of the most beautiful mummies in the world.
To visit the incredible corpse of Rosalia Lombardo yourself, visit the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Italy, where some 8,000 bodies rest in full view of guests who often find themselves quite shaken by the experience. Be sure to bring your camera...you never know when Sleeping Beauty might give you a wink.