When people think about archaeological finds, they usually imagine paleontologists digging up dinosaur bones in the desert. The truth, however, is much more fascinating, as scientists continue to find incredible things hiding in all sorts of locations.

Take the bogs of Eastern and Northern Europe for example, where scientists and historians found artifacts that would make anyone cringe. When you see what they uncovered, you’ll never see archaeology the same way again.

Recently, people in Ireland and Scotland noticed a phenomenon called “bog butter.” Thousands of years ago, people would stash their butter in bogs to preserve them. Now, people are finding them! 

6-bog-bodiesBazonka / Wikimedia Commons

They’re most often made of lard, tallow, or dairy fat. With a sickly, yellowish color and a rank smell, it’s absolutely disgusting, but that’s what happens when something is preserved for 5,000 years!

But people aren’t just finding butter in the bogs. They’re also finding actual human bodies. Because of the bog’s unique scientific properties, “bog bodies” have been preserved in the mud since as far back as 8000 B.C., and are just being uncovered now. 

2-bog-bodiesJoseph Micshyshyn / Wikimedia Commons

Archaeologists are discovering that these people died in truly brutal ways.

One of the most famous bog bodies is known as Tollund Man, discovered in Denmark in 1950. He was found wearing nothing but a belt and a felt hat, as well as remains of a noose around his neck.


Grauballe Man was found just a few years later, also in Denmark’s Jutland Peninsula. He was found completely naked, and had stark red hair that scientists believed to be a result of the bog’s discoloration. Evidence suggests that his neck was slit so viciously that his attacker severed his esophagus and trachea. Interestingly, his bones were preserved.

3-bog-bodiesMalene Thyssen / Wikimedia Commons

Another famous bog body, known as Lindow Man, was found in England in 1984, notable for being the most intact bog body to be found in the country. 

7-bog-bodiesMike Peel / Wikimedia Commons

Lindow Man’s body shows evidence of a violent murder. He was first struck by a blunt weapon of some kind, which he survived despite falling into unconsciousness. After, his attackers stabbed him in the chest, and a sinew cord found with his body suggests he was also strangled.

There have been plenty of other, less famous bog bodies, such as Ireland’s Old Croghan Man. Evidence suggests that he was tortured before his death and his nipples were cut off.

4-bog-bodiesMark Healey / Wikimedia Commons

They weren’t all men, either. Take the Netherlands’ Yde Girl, for instance. The 4′ 6″ 16-year old with scoliosis was apparently hanged with a noose and stabbed near her collarbone.

5-bog-bodiesBullenwachter / Wikimedia Commons

Bog bodies are still being found to this day, and technological advances allow scientists to learn more about their lives as well as their deaths.

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