Planet Earth

Don't Touch the Mummies!

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorApr 28, 2009 12:02 PM

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It happens every summer when tourists pass through the ancient burial caves on their way to Mt. Pulag in the Philippines: they can't keep their hands off the mummies. According to the Philippine Inquirer, local officials are still promoting the popular trek this year, but they "have a piece of advice for visitors: respect the mummies." The local town's mayor, noting that in years past "many mummies have been stolen from caves," warns:

The mummies should not be touched. Stealing them or getting their bones could bring bad luck.

You'd think that the burial sites would be off limits to tourism, but they actually are a main draw. In fact, the mayor also says:

Visitors are allowed to take pictures of the mummies or to have their pictures taken with the mummies. But the mummies should not be touched or brought out from their coffins.

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