Curators at a museum in England are puzzled: Why is an ancient Egyptian statue apparently spinning in its display case?
An ancient Egyptian curse? A magnetic field? Good vibrations?
Curators at the Manchester Museum in England are puzzled over why a 10-inch-tall Egyptian statue dating to 1800 B.C. is apparently spinning in its display case.
The stone statue of a male official named Neb-Senu remains still at night but appears to slowly turn during the day, according to British media reports.
"Over the last few months, an ancient Egyptian statue had mysteriously started to slowly spin completely of its own accord and in the course of a week turned a full 360-degree circle," the museum said in a press release provided to MSN News on Monday.
"No unusual movement has been detected in the museum or its immediate surroundings, and no one in the museum’s team can find a logical explanation for what is going on," it added.
Museum spokesman Tim Manley told MSN News via email that the statue began moving sometime after the museum opened its new gallery, Ancient Worlds, in October.He said the statue has been part of the museum’s collection for 80 years and has never moved before.
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Museum officials used time-lapse video that took one image every minute for a week to try to figure out what's going on. They were astonished to see it clearly shows the statuette turning, with no one in sight, the Manchester Evening News reported.
"I noticed one day that it had turned around. I thought it was strange because it is in a case and I am the only one who has a key," Campbell Price, an Egyptologist at the museum, told the newspaper.
Price suggested an ancient curse may be to blame for the mysterious motion.
"The ancient Egyptians believed that statuettes such as these could act as an alternative home for the spirits of the people they represented, should the body be damaged or destroyed. The Egyptians would be surprised, however, by a statue moving entirely of its own accord. It is a genuine mystery,” Price said in the museum's press release.
Others have speculated that the statue is magnetic and rotates toward an area of opposite polarity, or that vibrations from human footsteps or the busy bus route outside the museum are causing it to turn.
One Manchester Evening News reader didn't buy the vibration theory.
"Well, if it's due the vibrations of passers-by, then why aren't the other objects also moving, and why does it happen even on days that the museum is closed? It's a mystery we many never reasonably solve," the reader wrote.
Another reader was less amused.
"A PR stunt. And if not, some other explanation. Anyone who believes this is magic is an idiot," the reader wrote.
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