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Ötzi, Say 'Cheese'

Mammoth Mummy

As a kid, mummies freaked me out more than anything.

There you are flipping through National Geographic minding your contented, preliterate, four-year-old business when suddenly you're not looking at Victoria Falls, koala bears or aerial views of the Amazon River during dry season anymore.

Instead you've locked eyes with some howling, desiccated monstrosity that looks more like a hollowed-out version of Spielberg's E.T. than the remains of a human being.

These things stick with you when your little head hits the pillow later that night.

To finally face my fear of the partially preserved dead, I've mined the public domain and compiled a slide show of just the sorts of images I so used to hate. Educational captions will hopefully provide some objective distance.

Remember, should you opt for a traditional burial, which includes embalming, you'll be next.

Sweet dreams.

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