Are we obsessed with Museum Hack? Guilty as charged. Over the weekend, we tagged along on their tour of The Discovery of King Tut in Midtown, which recreates three chambers of the boy ruler’s 3,000-year-old tomb. There are over 1,000 artifacts on display, so there was a lot to take in. Here are 5 weird facts that stayed with us.
1. His wiener went MIA in 1968
While the mummy of King Tutankhamun was apparently intact when it was discovered in 1922, it's now missing a rather intimate appendage. As New Scientist reporter Jo Marchant wrote in 2010,
One theory? Someone stole the pharaoh's willy at some point to hide the fact that it was embarrassingly tiny, perhaps the result of a genetic disorder called Antley-Bixler syndrome (this would account for how easily it was lost in '68). According to self-styled Egyptian 'Indiana Jones' Zahi Hawass, however, this is impossible because Tut was "well-developed." We're curious: how does he know?
2. He had a serious Osiris complex
Tut's dad Akhenaten is most famous for his wacky religious ideas: he forbade worship of nearly all Egypt's traditional gods, promoting instead the worship of the sun. Tutankhamun died too young to make much of a mark on history, but the one huge thing he did do is to restore the worship of the whole Egyptian pantheon. Tut had an especially soft spot for Osiris, the god of the dead, fertility, and royalty. His funerary art shows him getting pretty cozy with the deity, and in some cases even being him.
3. Someone at Cairo’s Egyptian Museum knocked his beard off
We mentioned this case of clumsiness spiraling out of control back in January, when eight workers at the Egyptian Museum were convicted of gross negligence for damaging Tut's beard—and then damaging the mask even further by sloppily supergluing it back on off-kilter. But it's always worth repeating: if you damage a priceless antiquity by mistake, definitely don't try to fix it yourself.
4. Nobody knows how he died
Theories range from a chariot accident to malaria—but we're fans of our guides' favorite theory, that Tut was gored by an angry angry hippo. As we've been known to say ourselves: hippos are really effing scary!
5. Lord Carnarvon was totes down with child labor
That's a literal little kid up there, right?