Daily Illuminator

July 6, 2013: The Pharaoh's Curse

Nearly four thousand years ago, sensing his end was near, a mighty Pharaoh issued cryptic edicts to his throng of assembled priests. "Call on the powers of the gods . . ." he told them. "Entreat them to protect my final resting place." Those words were the last to pass between his lips, leaving his loyal servants to puzzle over just what sort of protection he was asking for.

No one knows what sign or portent informed their decision to curse a single statue that they entombed with the Pharaoh. Or why they felt that animating the figure to slowly turn in place would serve as adequate protection. Nonetheless, the fruits of their labor have been puzzling officials at the Manchester Museum (the statue's current home) for some time now. Cameras have even recorded the statue's spinning on time lapse video. Despite the passage of millennia, the priests' magic still holds its power!

Of course if you're one of those skeptics, you'll probably buy the explanation that it all has something to do with the museum visitors subtly vibrating the case.

-- Ben Williams

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