Most people are familiar with the ancient Egyptian practice of mummification. Through a painstaking process that combined evisceration with treatments of oils and minerals, bodies were preserved indefinitely. But there are actually a number of ways a body can be mummified. Extreme cold, low humidity, and lack of air can also naturally preserve a body. Over the years, archaeologists and explorers have unearthed numerous mummified remains, but this video highlights the most intriguing. 

The story of the Inuit baby holds many unanswered questions. Typically, women were never buried apart from men, but this strange grave held only women and two young children, a two-year old boy and a six-month old baby. Studies have revealed no explanation for the causes of death, but it is known that the baby was buried alive, presumably because he had no mother to care for him. Still, his vacant stare and doll-like expression seem to be forever seeking his mother.

The chart topper on this list of mysterious mummies, Atacama, has been confirmed as human. Examinations of DNA evidence reveal that his mother likely came from the western coast of South America, but no information that could explain his strange deformities. Specialists in pediatric bone deformities were consulted, but no one had seen anything quite like him. At 6-inches in length, Ata is the size of a 22-week fetus. Lack of ossification in the bones of his hands would confirm the theory that he is a mummified fetus that died shortly after birth, or was stillborn. However, the growth plates on his knees are that of a child six to eight years of age. The two prevailing theories is that Ata is a fetus that suffered from a rapid aging disease, or a young child with extreme dwarfism. It should be noted, however, that neither of these theories explain the shape of his skull or the missing ribs. 

Stories like this are particularly fascinating because they show us how little we know, even with the many advances we've made in science. What do you think of these? Was there a particular mummy you found especially interesting? Share your thoughts with SF Globe by commenting below.