Most scientific research happens at a glacial pace. Our question is: Did ulcers cause the Iceman’s fall from grace?
WASHINGTON, January 10, 2016 – The following disconcerting bit of Ice Age science trivia comes to us from the Wall Street Journal:
“Microbes that once troubled the stomach of a prehistoric hunter known as ‘Ötzi the Iceman,’ who died on an Alpine glacier 5,300 years ago, are offering researchers a rare insight into the early settlement of Europe.
“In findings reported Thursday in Science, an international research group analyzed remnants of ulcer-causing microbes called Helicobacter pylori exhumed from the well-preserved mummy of the Neolithic nomad. With modern DNA sequencing technology, they reconstructed the genetic structure of this ancient microbe—the oldest known pathogen sequenced so far.”
You never know what might happen when you get buried in a coffin. What if it’s flooded with hard water and you wind up turned to stone? Or suppose some creepy bacteria invade your body after death, and, like in Ed Wood’s movie “Plan 9 from Outer Space,” you return to life again forever, like some horrid zombie. Or, as my ex is fond of reminding everyone, what if you stay so liquored up that the alcohol preserves you through the centuries?
I’m not taking any chances. I’m having my will stipulate that, at the time of my demise, my remains are to be buried in the nearest compost pile.
Should I be so unfortunate to ossify instead
of crumbling into dusty motes long after I am dead,
I hope that nosy scientists will leave my corpse alone
and not keep coming back for bits of skin and hair and bone.
Although my soul had long ago found its eternal rest,
I’d still resent the poking and the probing and the tests.
Worse—if they should exhibit my poor husk in some glass case
I’d hurl upon them curses. That will put them in their place!
Don’t let me be some shrunken head throughout eternity;
may I dissolve away in peace through nature’s chemistry.
Above image by Marion Sabourdy via Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0.Click here for reuse options!
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