To say that 2020 has been a shitty year so far would be an understatement. It’s as if a curse has befallen us, with all sorts of dreadful things imaginable coming to life. Novel coronavirus deaths are only ticking upwards, the world is still under lockdown, people are not being able to jolly with friends, and work-from-home is seeming to most as the utter bane of existence. Everyone’s asking – what could be worse than this? The universe, owing to its mischievous nature, has ever presently responded to our rhetorical question. To the fright of many, a video has gone viral on social media showing a 2500-year-old mummy coffin being opened in Saqqara, Egypt by archaeologists. That’s bad, bad news.
A note to the uninitiated, from the mummy-head that is me: It is believed in popular culture and folklore that the opening of a sarcophagus, especially an Egyptian mummy, beckons severe bad luck and calamity. Known as the “pharaoh’s curse”, this is a myth that gained ground when the tomb of the infamous Egyptian pharaoh King Tut was opened in 1923 by archaeologist Howard Carter. After the discovery, it was reported that men from his team started to die one by one, which propagated the myth of Tut’s curse.
Opening Coffins In The Month Of Halloween? Yeah, Great Idea
So basically, these old men lying in their graves do not want to be disturbed in their sleep for eternity. Which is… understandable. But it seems 2020 is having none of it and is hell-bent on the world to have a taste of every evil possible. That too in the spookiest month of the year ahead of Halloween. Coincidence?
Watch this video that has gone viral on Twitter with 11.2 million views:
The mummy tomb, which has been sealed for 2500 years, has been opened for the first time. pic.twitter.com/KWGT95girv
— Psychedelic Art (@Currently4_20) October 5, 2020
59 Coffins: Does That Mean 59 Curses?
October 3 was a big day, marking the opening of the first of 59 wooden coffins which were unearthed in Saqqara earlier this year, along with several antique statues. With the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities helming the event, attended by the ambassador of New Zealand and other high ministers, it was widely covered by the press and received by the public.
In a press release on their Facebook page, the Ministry noted that these coffins were discovered in their “initial condition inside burial wells in Saqqara’s archaeology area… which is considered one of the Egyptian archaeological areas on the World Heritage list.” It is mentioned, “these coffins will be transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum to be displayed.”
If you are beginning to have the chills at the mention of not one, but 59 coffins and their subsequent curses, it might cheer you to know that these coffins “belong to a group of priests and senior men”, not pharaohs. We can presume that unearthing coffins of laymen from ancient Egypt won’t quite bring the same bad luck as would kings. But don’t take my word for it.
Internet Freaks Out At The Coffin Opening
High on pop culture references and excitement for Halloween, the internet has positively, collectively freaked out at the video of the coffin opening. For some, there could have been no better way to kickstart October. The others, however, are lamenting that the mummy opening is just a textbook horror film – where humans actively go looking for trouble. And that too in 2020, when things just seem to be going from bad to worse.
A Twitter user reacted, “So Brendan Fraser and them taught you nothing?” referring to The Mummy film franchise starring Brendan Fraser that borrows heavily from this ancient legend. Another wrote, “Is 2020 really the best year to be opening up an ancient mummy sarcophagus?”
Meanwhile, another user, referring to the mummy’s remains in the video, summed up the general reaction in one simple statement:
Why is it strapped down. Why would it need to be strapped down? Put the lid back on. PUT THE FUCKING LID BACK ON IT'S 2020!!
— Corbit (@Corbit_THFC) October 5, 2020
Views expressed are the author’s own.