Corpse Ages 300 Years in Hours

A Qing Dynasty corpse, dug up by archaeologists earlier this month, made up for lost time when it finally got its opportunity to rot after 300 years of pristine preservation.

From The Daily Mail:

A 300-year-old burial area, in which two bodies were reduced to skeletons while one was perfectly preserved, has left Chinese archaeologists baffled.

When one of the coffins was opened, the man’s face, experts claim, was perfectly preserved.

Within hours, however, the face started to go black, and a foul smell began to emanate from the body.

The skin on the corpse – which has now been taken to the local university for study – also turned black.

The Daily Mail has pictures, if you’re into that kind of thing.

The body, apparently, had been covered in charcoal, keeping bacteria at bay. When the coffin was open, time was at last allowed to do its deed.

The Qing Dynasty — China’s last dynasty — ruled from 1644 to 1912.

photo: Qing era clock by Ivan Walsh, Creative Commons/flickr