In a clip that has been widely shared across the Internet, one TikTok user has buried a sarcophagus filled with a single bag of flamin' hot Cheetos to mess with future archaeologists.
TikTok user Sunday Nobody made the 1,360-kilogram (3,000-pound) sarcophagus using reinforced concrete, as well as a headstone, on which he used a laser to inscribe the ingredients for flamin' hot Cheetos. The Cheetos packet itself was cast in resin, before being suspended from the inside of the sarcophagus by metal wires in order to keep it safe in the event of an earthquake.
He then attempted to "burn off all the germs" inside the sarcophagus using a diode laser, to help with preservation. A plaque placed above the burial site reads "do not open for 10,000 years", as well as an inscription of the current year.
Sunday Nobody says he was not paid by Cheetos for the tomb, and that they are not aware of the project.
People are largely on board with the idea of messing with future archaeologists
"Dear god, I wish I could have been an archaeologist uncovering and deciphering this sarcophagus 2,000 years in the future," one Twitter user wrote. "If it’s ever rediscovered, it will be the crown jewel of some future museum. Like the Rosetta Stone."
Another added "I think archaeologists should be more open to the idea that sometimes ancient civilizations just buried stuff as a bit".
Conveying information that you want to be understood by people hundreds or thousands of years in the future is tough, and there's no way of knowing what some future human (or whatever replaces us) will make of the flamin' hot sarcophagus.
As one Redditor put it, "The thing is, unless the record of his burial survives long enough, [future archaeologists] won’t know this was buried as a prank. 10,000 years is a really long time. The assumption would be that this was an important thing to the ancient peoples."
"English has changed so much in the past 300 years. Imagine how much it will have changed in 10,000. Trying to translate the inscription will drive them nuts and they’ll probably get a bunch of it wrong."
Communicating with humans 10,000 years in the future is, of course, not just something that would be nice, but something humans are already attempting to do out of necessity. Nuclear waste can last anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 years, meaning any warnings we put up around waste storage sites will have to last long enough for our distant ancestors to understand them. Simply placing it in a large structure isn't enough – as the pyramids and every other large structure that humanity has seen fit to rummage through over the years will attest. The message would need to survive across all cultural and language barriers that might arrive between now and when some future human stumbles across the nuclear waste in 7000 CE.
The problem is so difficult that, when the Human Interference Task Force attempted to come up with solutions, ready for a nuclear waste storage facility that was proposed to be built near Las Vegas, their ideas ranged from an Atomic Priesthood to making cats glow green whenever they go near nuclear waste, and then instilling a fear of that into human societies.
In short, if and when they do find the flamin' hot Cheetos, god knows what they'll make of it.