Rosalia Lombardo died in 1920 just days before her second birthday. Her body was embalmed and interred in the Capuchin catacombs in Palermo, Italy. Rosalia became known as “Sleeping Beauty” because her well-preserved body has shown little sign of deterioration in the 94 years since she died. It was only five years ago that the secret formula that embalmer Alfredo Salafia used to preserve her corpse was discovered. Shortly afterward, her glass-topped coffin was placed inside a sealed glass enclosure containing nitrogen to prevent decay. What’s really strange is that she appears to open her eyes several times a day. Could Sleeping Beauty be ready to awaken after her 100 year sleep? Officials say there’s a perfectly logical explanation.
"It's an optical illusion produced by the light that filters through the side windows, which during the day is subject to change," Dario Piombino-Mascali, curator of the Capuchin Catacombs, said in a statement Thursday.
He noted the mummy was moved slightly and shifted to a horizontal position in a humidity-free glass coffin. The new position makes it easier see Rosalia's eyelids.
"They are not completely closed, and indeed they have never been," Piombino-Mascali said.
Another myth busted -I was under the impression that the catacombs were underground. Anyway, an article at io9 addesses the creepy phenomena of Rosalia’s eyes and the amazing embalming formula that has kept her looking so lifelike after all this time. -via Science Chamber of Horrors