World’s Strangest

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Soapman: Corpse Turned Completely Into Soap

Photo: Dave Hunt / Smithsonian Institution

We don’t usually post such a gruesome image on Neatorama, but bear with me. The story behind the corpse shown above is quite very intriguing.

When the corpse above was discovered in 1875 during the digging of a train depot foundation in Philadelphia, it has turned into soap (that’s why it’s called “Soapman” by the Smithsonian Institute). Water had seeped into the casket and brought alkaline soil with it, turning the fats in the man’s body through a type of hydrolysis called saponification.

Thanks Jessica Porter!

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January 4th, 2011

Stranger to the World


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