The mystery of the Manchester museum moving mummy statuette
by idoubtit • June 23, 2013 • 23 Comments
An ancient Egyptian statue has spooked museum bosses – after it mysteriously started to spin round in a display case. The 10-inch tall relic, which dates back to 1800 BC, was found in a mummy’s tomb and has been at the Manchester Museum for 80 years. But in recent weeks, curators have been left scratching their heads after they kept finding it facing the wrong way. Experts decidedto monitor the room on time-lapse video and were astonished to see it clearly show the statuette spinning 180 degrees – with nobody going near it. Scientists who explored the Egyptian tombs in the 1920s were popularly believed to be struck by a ‘curse of the Pharaohs’ – and Campbell Price, a curator at the museum on Oxford Road, said he believes there may be a spiritual explanation to the spinning statue. “In Ancient Egypt they believed that if the mummy is destroyed then the statuette can act as an alternative vessel for the spirit. Maybe that is what is causing the movement.” Other experts have a more rational explanation – suggesting that the vibrations caused by the footsteps of passing visitors makes the statuette turn. Considering the statue only seems to rotate during the day when people are walking near it, the latter explanation seems to be the more logical one. I do like the part in the article where they say they would like the mystery solved. Glad they are taking that stance instead of of hyping the mystery. Some testing is in order. It could be that imperfections in the statue or the surface it is on is created an imbalance. When people walk by and make small vibrations, the rocking (from inequilibrium back to equilibrium)creates motion in a circle due to inertia. Since the statue appears to sit on suspended glass, perhaps a very small imperfection in the object has caused this. If it was sitting on a less smooth platform, the movement would not happen. Have a look at the time lapse. If that’s all it does, that’s some lame curse. But very cool phenomenon regardless.