In Palermo, Sicily, there’s a 100-year-old cloister built by Capuchin monks that’s famous for its crypt, filled with 2,000 mummies. Stored in a glass sarcophagus is one very particular person who found her final resting place there, a little girl.
Rosalia Lombardo was just two years old when she died of pneumonia in 1920. Her father, an Italian military officer named Mario Lombardo, almost died of grief after his little girl was taken away. Then he decided to do something that would preserve the beautiful child he loved so much: he commissioned an embalmer called Alfredo Salafia to prepare his daughter’s body. This involved replacing her bodily fluids with formaldehyde and treating the corpse with alcohol. The result is astonishing.
The toddler with sweet blond locks and a peaceful look seems like she might have just dozed off and could wake up at any moment, despite having died nearly 100 years ago. And this body has a creepy secret that’s made quite a few people wonder if it’s really dead or not.
Numerous visitors have witnessed what should be impossible: Rosalia opens and closes her eyes!
Experts explain that it’s caused by an optical illusion from light and her already slightly open eyelids. But when you see it, you’ll get goosebumps just as generations of other visitors have.
Watch the strange phenomenon for yourself in slow motion:
Rosalia Lombardo, the sleeping beauty of the crypt, is one of the best preserved mummies on Earth and has fascinated people from all over the world. This little girl’s legend may just survive for another hundred years…