Rosalia Lombardo died at the age of just two around 100 years ago and now draws thousands of visitors to see her every year.
he theory has been well and truly debunked, put down simply to a trick of the light. It is said to look lifelike thanks to how well she was preserved, still with her blond hair and waxy skin.
This led to rigorous testing and analysis revealed her organs were still intact and her brain had only shrunk to 50% of its original size.
Apparently out of respect the blanket that covers her has never been pulled back, but x-rays also revealed her legs and arms to be intact and still there.
Curator of the Capuchin Catacombs where Rosalia lies, Dario Piombino-Mascali, said: “It’s an optical illusion produced by the light that filters through the side windows, which during the day is subject to change.
“[Her eyes] are not completely closed, and indeed they have never been.”
The official story of Rosalia’s death is unknown, but urban legend says she was preserved around 100 years ago after her grief-stricken father found it difficult to let her go.
Her name comes from speculation she was the daughter of wealthy Sicilian noble Mario Lombardo, a general in the Italian military.
The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo hold well over 8,000 bodies and include 163 children. In January 2022, it was reported scientists were called in to solve the mystery behind the child mummies in Sicily.
The embalming was performed by Alfredo Salafia, who used products like zinc, acid and alcohol to preserve the skin of those like Rosalia.