Mummifying chickens for fun and educational profit

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17 Responses to “Mummifying chickens for fun and educational profit”

  1. olmsteader says:

    Phase 1: Mummify chickens
    Phase 2: ????
    Phase 3: Profit!

  2. Alan says:

    That was the Boing-Boingiest science thing ever. Thanks!

  3. GregS says:

    I, for one, welcome our new mummified chicken overlords.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is this process available for reptiles?

  5. jeffbell says:

    My daughter’s sixth grade class just finished doing mummies. Different groups did different animals. One did a squid, one did a catfish. The chicken group got one with the head still on. Her group chose to do a cucumber.

    I am extremely proud that she raised her hand in class and suggested that they also have a control cucumber.

    They also did cucumber with salt, one with vinegar, and one with baking soda. The salted on shrink to 1/4 size.

    • TooGoodToCheck says:

      They also did cucumber with salt, one with vinegar, and one with baking soda.

      great. . . now I’m not going to be able to eat a pickle without thinking of it as a mummified cucumber

  6. Anonymous says:

    I bet the single greatest factor is humidity. Egyptian mummifiers worked in a dry, hot desert. For a few months, I had a ‘catsicle’ on my back porch — ground frozen, corpse buried in salt. Also extremely low humidity.

    If he had died now, with all the spring rains…

  7. Anonymous says:

    My son’s 6th grade class did this. They keep them in Zip-Lock bags in the main hallway of the school so we can all enjoy the process. I have to agree that they never got smelly. It was one of the favorite projects that they did!

  8. GreenJello says:

    And one of the things we’re finding out is that we don’t know for sure all the details of how a mummifier did his job.
    Geez, it’s OBVIOUS, they used nano machines from the ancient astronauts.

    A human mummy really isn’t much different from human jerky.
    Exactly, which is why the slaves were also “buried” along with the pharohs, in fact they were taken aboard the ancient astronaut’s ship as a food supply!

    People really need to read Charles Berlin before commenting on Egypt and all that.

  9. sally599 says:

    OK my first thought was that this was the intro to the “Foods of Lewis and Clark Expedition” series that you’re doing—glad you’re not actually using food from the 1800s.

  10. contra says:

    They should try the next chicken with the proper spells and incantations from “The Book Of The Dead”. Just sayin’ :)

  11. TooGoodToCheck says:

    So. . . this is just my conjecture here, but wouldn’t temperature, relative humidity, and air flow all be significant variables in this endeavor?

  12. Wally Ballou says:

    Why settle for a chicken?

    http://www.egyptartsite.com/mummy.html

  13. Anonymous says:

    I literally just finished doing this with my kid for a homeschool history project on Egypt and the thing I noticed was our bird never started to smell like it was rotting. Not once.

    We kept the thing covered in salt in a ziplock bag and then put that bag in a 5 gallon bucket. Like someone said before, I wonder if keeping it at a constant temperature and humidity and airflow had something to do with it.

    Also, did they change the salt out after it got soaked with bird juices? Maybe the smell popped up because of the mildewing salt?

    Who knows, but damn it was a fun project.

  14. OldBrownSquirrel says:

    Worth noting: sodium is abbreviated “Na” because of its association with natron.

  15. Rick says:

    My son did this last year. The kids paired up and each pair had a chicken. The smell of 15 mummifying chickens was bad but not overwhelming. I think the cloves and otehr spices they used somewhat covered the odor.

    This was also the same son who had the chicken walking robot costume(found here http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/10/31/beware-the-clomping.html) What is it with him and chickens?

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