She is known by many names; the Girl in the Glass Coffin, Sleeping Beauty, the World’s Most Beautiful Mummy, the Best Preserved Mummy in the World. Rosalia Lombardo died from pneumonia in 1920 at the age of two. In death, she has become something greater than life.
Rosalia is lying in a glass coffin, and placed inside the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Italy. She looks sleeping inside her tiny glass coffin, her little head pokes above a fading silk blanket. Tuffs of blonde hair still flow down her cheeks, a silk bow still tied firmly around her head. If it were not for the oxidizing amulet of the Virgin Mary resting above her blanket, you would say she just died a few days ago.
After her death, Alfredo Salafia, a skilled mortician, embalmed her. His work not only looks better than much of the embalming nowadays, but it was not until recently that his actual technique rediscovered and understood.
The exact embalming formula remained a mystery, lost to the grave with Salafia. However, through her living decedents a biological anthropologist named Dario Piombino-Mascali tracked down the eternal formula in 2009.
Some visitors say that Rosalia blinks her eyes inside her glass coffin. Pictures captured with her eyelids strangely opening and closing, her blue eyes undamaged and glistening in the catacomb lights.
Theories about “Sleeping Beauty” and her mysterious winking performances flooded the internet. Some says restless spirit still resides in her pristine body, some skeptics claimed that the real body replaced with a realistic wax replica.
The mystery of Rosalia became one of the topics of a History Channel documentary in the 2000s. So coffin was x-rayed for the first time in its existence.
In addition, National Geographic documentary had an MRI performed on the body, producing the first 3D images of Rosalia both inside and out. It confirmed all of her organs were perfectly intact. It also showed her arms at her sides. Her brain was perfectly visible only having shrunk 50% due to the mummification process.