How Did Ex-Playmate Turn Into a Mummy?

Arid climate, lack of moisture all helped
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2011 10:13 AM CDT
The mail box of former Playboy playmate and B-movie actress Yvette Vickers is seen in front of her house in Beverly Hills, Calif. Tuesday, May 3, 2011.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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(Newser) – How did Yvette Vickers, former Playboy playmate and cult horror film star, turn into a real-life mummy? After all, she didn't have anyone to wrap her in linen bandages. But mummification does not actually refer to the process undertaken by ancient Egyptians—it refers to the effect that process has on the body, writes Adam Martin in the Atlantic. Namely, preserving the skin, organs, and soft tissue and halting decay.

Mummification can happen naturally, as HowStuffWorks explains, in frozen glaciers or arid ground. Los Angeles, where Vickers died, is quite arid, and her home would have protected her body from the rain. But the house was in disrepair, with at least one broken window, so air likely moved around Vickers' body to carry off any other moisture and help to mummify it. Click for more on Vickers' death.

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