Mental Floss put together a list of five bodies that were found remarkably preserved long after their deaths. The photo above is of Lady Xin Zhui, also known as Marquise of Dai. She was the pampered wife of a Chinese nobleman, the Marquis of Dai, who lived during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE).
Lady Xin Zhui enjoyed the perks of her station in life, including a band of musicians that played at her whim, access to foods such as a variety of meats that were reserved for royalty and the powerful, silk clothing, cosmetics and other extravagances. Her life of excess — in addition to a spinal problem that kept her sedentary — led to her becoming obese and dying by heart attack in 163 BCE. She was approximately fifty years of age.
When Lady Xin Zhui's tomb was discovered in 1971, people were shocked at the condition of her corpse. Her skin was soft and dewy; her joints easily flexed. After more than 2000 years of being buried, Lady Xin Zhui was incredibly well preserved, and experts remain unsure as to why.
Read about four other cases of bodies that somehow survived the normal rate of decomposition here.
Image: Wikimedia Commons