Surprise! Dozens of Mummified Baby Crocodiles Discovered Inside Ancient Egyptian Mummy

Nov 23, 2016 05:59 AM EST

The surprise never ends with this particular mummy. Dozens of baby crocodile mummies shocked museum staff in Leiden, Netherlands as they are preparing for a standard exhibit.

According to a report from National Geographic, scientists were already surprised in the 1990s when an initial scan of this three-meter long mummified creature revealed two adolescent crocodiles instead of a single one, which they initially believed. Now, a few decades later, there are more surprises in store. To be specific, 47 little surprises.

Dozens of baby crocodiles, all individually wrapped, were found during an advanced three-dimensional CT scan by the Swedish technology company Interspectral, a report from BBC said.

"You can't see them very well on the old scans unless you know they're there - and we never expected to find this," curator Dr. Lara Weiss shared. She added that it's likely these mummified animals were intended as an offering to crocodile god Sobek. The use of both young and mature creatures further highlighted the Egyptians' belief in life after death.

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In 2015, another crocodile - also mummified with 20 hatchlings - was displayed at the British Museum in London.

The mummy in Leiden, Netherlands has actually been in display at Egyptian gallery of the National Museum of Antiquities since 1828. It took nearly two centuries to reveal the pair of bigger crocs inside, and over another decade to unearth the youngsters wrapped along with them.

The exhibit at the National Museum of Antiquities that the crocodile mummies are a part of allows the visitors to get up, close and personal with the ancient animal as well as a mummified Egyptian priest. The "interactive virtual autopsy" offers an opportunity to virtually study and even remove the different layers of the mummies and observe a 3D close up peak at the amulets found inside.

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