A CT scan of a Buddhist statue from the 11th or 12th century has revealed an extraordinary secret – it houses the mummy of an ancient Chinese Buddhist monk whose organs have been replaced by ancient Chinese scrolls.


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Scientists knew that there was a mummy inside the statue, but the CT scan, carried out at the Meander Medical Centre at the request of the Drents museum in the Netherlands, gave them their first close-up look at the skeleton inside. That’s when they discovered the hidden paper scrolls and figured out that the mummy was the body of Liuquan, an ancient Buddhist master from the Chinese Meditation School. The discovery comes on the heels of news of another mummified monk in Mongolia, who some believe is simply in an advanced meditative state.

The statue will be on display at the Hungarian Natural History Museum until May, 2015.

More info: nhmus.hu | drentsmuseum.nl | nltimes.nl (h/t: colossal, dailymail)