For hundreds of years, a mystery surrounded the cathedral of Venzone, a small city in the province of Udine, Italy.
Instead of decomposing normally, bodies buried in the tombs beneath the cathedral were perfectly preserved and still recognizable decades later.
This led the townspeople to periodically retrieve and commune with their dead loved ones.
In modern times, scientists finally traced the source of this wonder to Hypha tombicina, a microscopic, parasitic fungus that rapidly dehydrates the bodies before decomposition can even begin. Another explanation links this incredible body conservation to flooding with alkaline groundwater and subsequent rapid drying.