3,000 Years After Its Death, The Talking Mummy Is The Latest Hot New Internet Meme

Howard Et Al 2020/Scientific Reports/Twitter

In around 1100 BCE, a priest named Nesyamun was preserved and entombed in an Egyptian temple at Karnak.

Having been taken from his resting place and moved to England (no surprises there, the British Museum is basically an evidence locker with a cafe at this point), where the mummy survived the Leeds Blitz intact. Though the Leeds City Museum where it was housed was heavily damaged during the bombing, and the coffin blown into the street, it remained remarkably intact. What's more, the throat and trachea were still untouched, and later found to be incredibly well-preserved.

Earlier this year, a team of researchers in the UK managed to reconstruct the vocal tract of the mummy, 3,000 years after he died. Using CT scans, an electronic larynx, and years of hard work (the project began in 2013), they were able to recreate what Nesyamun would have sounded like. 

And that sound was "eeehhhhhhhhh".

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As astonishing as it is to be able to hear what someone from 3,000 years ago might have sounded like, you have to admit it's amusing. We can only imagine how the researchers must have felt, building up the idea of "I'm going to hear the sound of an ancient human from a virtually unimaginable age gone by," and then hearing a normal human going, "EHHHHH".

This hasn't passed the Internet by, and still apparently tickles people. Old Nesyamun has gone viral as people are reimagining what his voice could sound like. They're pretty great. The one that set it all off appears to have woken up and realized he's in 2020.

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Soon the mummy became a meme, with everyone adding their own versions. Who knew a 3000-year-old mummy would be so into Mario and Shrek? 

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Sublime.

While you're here, we (and Chrissy Teigan) urge you to check out this reconstructed voice of a Neanderthal from 2015.

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And this because, well, look at him.

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