There’s no telling what incredible things might be found in an archaeological dig. From dinosaur remains to fascinating documents, archaeology can reveal to us things about our past that we may have otherwise never known about. But archaeology can also be disturbing, and can uncover facts that we may prefer not to know about…

Here are ten archaeological finds that will chill you to the bone!

1. 25 ancient “alien” corpses, half of which had extremely long skulls, were found by Mexican villagers that were digging into the ground. Scientists have disputed suggestions of extraterrestrial life, claiming  that the skulls were modified intentionally while their owners were still alive. 

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Central American children over a millenium ago were forced to have their skulls reshaped by bounding their heads with flat boards. The incredible pressure caused their skulls to grow up rather than out, resulting in the alien-like appearance.

2. Legend said that when King Louis XVI died during the French Revolution, people ran to his body to dip their handkerchiefs in his blood. No one thought this was true until DNA tests compared a buried handkerchief to what was believed to be King Louis’s mummified head, and it matched.

2-weird-archaeologyAntoine-François Callet / Wikimedia Commons

3. “Otzi the Iceman” was found in the mountains of Austria by a group of hikers in 1991. The fact that Otzi’s body is about 5300 years old is incredible enough, but what’s even more amazing is that his blood is incredibly well-preserved, making it the oldest blood ever found.

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4. An Australian mass grave was found to have numerous incredible things hidden inside, including “mega-kangaroos” and 20-foot long lizards. Perhaps the most incredible finds were the giant wombats, which were almost the size of cars and weighed up to 3.1 tons. Their pouches were large enough to fit a small human!

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5. A skull found in Northern England was found with an incredibly well-preserved human brain alongside. For some reason the brain was pickled, allowing to withstand the test of time. At 2600 years old, some believe that the head was ritualistically removed and buried separately from the rest of its body.

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6. A group of Neanderthal skeletons discovered in Spain, estimated at 49,000 years old, were found with human teeth marks on them, which is almost certainly proof of cannibalism.

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7. Evidence of mass human sacrifice was found in Peru in 2012, as a circle of adult skeletons was found surrounding a circle of baby skeletons. This was found in a tomb at the temple of Pachacamac, which is believed to have belonged to the ancient tribe of the Ychsma,a people which predated the Incas.

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8. It’s not uncommon in Bulgaria to find a corpse with an iron stake through its body. It was common practice in the 14th century to stab alleged vampires through the heart, which of course begs the question of whether or not any of the victims were actual, honest-to-goodness vampires.

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9. The Egyptian Book of the Dead is famous for supposedly describing spells that can be used in the afterlife. It was said to have been given to Amenhotep, an influential Egyptian official that lived around 1400 B.C, but many pieces are missing. Over 100 fragments of the book were found in the Queensland Musuem’s basement – a far cry from the desert tomb where you would expect it to be.

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10. In Dorset, U.K, a road crew found a mass grave for Vikings, with 51 victims–one pile for heads, the other pile for the rest of their bodies–in total. Experts believe that the bodies belonged to the feared Jomsvikings, which were notorious mercenaries circa 1000 A.D.. 

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As proud Vikings, they preferred to face their attackers. Evidence shows that they were all executed from the front.

I would have paid a lot more attention to history classes in school if they taught us about this crazy stuff. It’s disturbing, but these weird finds can teach us a great deal about the past!

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