Taking on the thrill of climbing a mountain isn’t for those that don’t have a sense of adventure. For one couple, however, mountain climbing had become a regular part of their lives. One day, this German couple decided to embark on the adventure of a lifetime by attempting to climb the Alps. However, they had no idea what was awaiting them on this journey…
20. German Hikers
On September 19th, 1991, German hikers Helmut and Erika Simon decided that they would attempt to climb the Italian Alps. The couple were looking for an adventure that they would never forget and they were sure that the snowy mountain tops of the Alps would provide them with it. However, they had no idea that the adventure they would get would be far from what they expected!
19. Big Explorations
The Simons weren’t novices to the experience of mountain climbing as they have climbed many mountains before. They figured that climbing the Italian Alps would be similar to many of their previous adventures. With that in mind, the couple decided to wander off the pre-mapped route they had originally decided on.
18. Strange Object
As the couple began to continue on their expedition up the mountain, they came across a strange-looking shape sticking out of the ground. The couple were intrigued by the object and decided that they would walk over to it to see what it was. However, they were shocked when they realized what it was!
17. A Corpse
The couple quickly realized that the object sticking out of the ground was a corpse! Helmut and Erika were rocked to the core by the discovery of the corpse as they immediately assumed that it must have been another fellow hiker who got trapped in some snow. However, once they contacted the authorities they learned the real truth about the body…
16. Violent Storm
Helmut and Erika immediately left the mountain area and alerted the authorities to the discovery of the body. However, as soon as an excavation team was sent to find the body a violent storm broke out. It would be another three days before they would find the body that the Simons came across.
15. Big News
Soon enough, news broke out that a body had been discovered buried in some snow in the mountains. One Austrian reported dubbed the corpse “Otzi the Iceman” after the location in which he was found. However, as the authorities began to look over the body, they realized that it wasn’t a regular hiker.
The body was unique in many ways so they brought Otzi over to the University of Innsbruck, where archaeologist Konrad Spindler examined his body. Upon looking the body over, Spindler made a shocking discovery. It seems that Otzi was actually an ancient mummy from the Bronze Age. That means that he was around 5,300 years old!
13. Mountain Conditions
It was thanks to the wet and cold mountain conditions that Otzi’s body had managed to be so well-preserved throughout all of these years. This allowed many scientists to run a bunch of advanced tests on Otzi’s remains and it also allowed them to create a 3D reconstruction of what Otzi may have looked like.
According to the scientists that studied his remains, Otzi stood 5’5″, weighed 84 pounds, and was 45 years of age at the time of his death. Also, while looking at his remains, they came to the conclusion that Otzi had brown eyes, a thick beard and had a pretty rugged appearance overall. Still, it wasn’t just his appearance that scientists focused on.
11. Cause of Death
By taking samples of different pollen that they discovered in Otzi’s stomach, scientists were also able to determine his cause of death. According to the scientists, Otzi most likely passed away during the spring or summer months and had eaten an ibex around 2 hours before his death. They were also able to see what diseases Otzi suffered with throughout his life.
Scientists were also able to see what kind of diseases Otzi was suffering with thanks to advanced testing. It seems that the iceman was dealing with a large number of various ailments. Some of them included whipworm, cardiovascular disease, and lactose intolerance. They also discovered that he also had one of the earliest cases of Lyme’s Disease.
Thanks to how well-preserved Otzi’s skin was, scientists were also able to identify various markings on Otzi’s body. It seems that he had tattoo markings on his body that corresponded with acupuncture points. This means that acupuncture was being practiced 2,000 years earlier than scientists had originally thought.
8. A Decade
Even though scientists had a bunch of advanced technology at their disposal, it was still uncertain as to how Otzi may have died. In fact, it took scientists an entire decade to figure out the truth about his untimely demise. At first, many scientists believed that he had passed away due to exposure, however a study in 2001 revealed the actual truth…
7. The Truth
Finally, scientists were able to use advanced X-ray technology to discover the truth about Otzi’s death. They quickly discovered an arrowhead in Otzi’s left shoulder. The location of the arrowhead meant that it would have severed a vital artery, causing Otzi to bleed to death. It seems that it wasn’t the freezing cold that killed him – he was actually murdered!
Dozens of theories began to come out about the motivation behind Otzi’s murder. Some scientists speculated that Otzi may have been killed while raiding a nearby village. Others theorized that Otzi was a part of a ritual human sacrifice. However, it was the items that they discovered near Otzi’s body that would reveal the truth of the situation.
5. In His Possession
When Otzi was originally discovered, he was also found with a variety of valuables near him. There happened to be tools, furs, and a copper axe all found near him. This led scientists to believe that the killing was of a personal nature since the items weren’t taken or stolen. However, although the mystery of Otzi’s death was finally solved there was suddenly a new mystery coming up.
4. Mysterious Deaths
Back in 2004, 13 years after he and Erika first discovered Otzi, Helmut Simon died in a freak accident as he was making his way through the Australian Alps. Not too long after Helmut’s death, Konrad Spindler, the archaeologist who first looked over Otzi’s body died in a very mysterious way. Many rumors began to come out that the iceman’s body was cursed.
3. Seven Deaths
The rumors only grew stronger when the excavation team that originally found Otzi’s body were killed during an avalanche. Then a forensic expert that had examined Otzi’s body also died in a tragic car accident. So far, a total of seven deaths have been pinned on the curse of the iceman.
2. On Display
However, for anyone hoping to catch a glimpse of Otzi can actually do so by heading over to the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy. There Otzi stands on display for any and all visitors to see. There is also a memorial built in honor of him at the site of his discovery.
1. Controversial Discovery
While there is a ton of controversy surrounding Otzi’s discovery, his body continues to make a tremendous impact on historians, archaeologists and scientists. By studying his body, scientists have been able to piece together clues of our own past. This can help us better understand our past ancestors and how they used to live.