Who knows why but there are certain people that we just can’t seem to let go of. We’re not talking about your great aunt Bertha here, as lovely as she was, but people who made slightly more impact than her Best Ginger Sponge Award down at the village hall (like the dignitary in our featured image, by kiszka king).
A lot of these cadaverous attractions are in communist (or formerly so) countries where they are ironically deified in what is supposed to be a completely secular ideology. But who cares about irony when you’re seeing dead people without it having to be Bruce Willis – check out these famous stiffs!
The chairman expressly insisted that he be cremated after he died, but this was swiftly disregarded by the government he left behind – they felt they needed to keep the spirit of the figurehead “alive”.
The impressive Mausoleum of Mao Zedong can be found in Beijing’s Tianenmen Square where despite kicking the bucket in 1976, the chairman’s still drawing crowds with people queuing up most days.
Ho Chi Minh
The influential Vietnamese president that inspired the country in its fight for reunification and independence is unsurprisingly rather popular in the socialist Vietnam that emerged in 1976, seven years after his death.
Not only did they rename Saigon after him, but Ho Chi Minh City is host to a grand mausoleum where the diminutive intellectual is on display every morning six days a week.
The daddy of the socialist preserved cadaver crew, Lenin’s mausoleum in Red Square is one of the top tourist attractions in Moscow.
Stalin used to be on display alongside him but the authorities decided he’d committed just a touch too much genocide for them to keep him there without embarrassment.
Pope John XXIII
If you can’t read Roman numerals, that’s Johnny 23, more commonly referred to as Good Pope John. You’d think popes should be good by default, but his nickname implies the rest of them don’t deserve the title somehow.
PJXXIII’s refusal to decompose is down to being properly embalmed and sealed in a vacuum, but it looks like a miracle when looking into his display case on the altar of St Jerome in the Vatican.
Everybody in Pompeii
What was probably the most terrifying way an entire town died near instantaneously has, on the plus side, left for the rest of us one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in the world.
When the site was discovered and excavation began, some clever fellow decided to squirt plaster into spaces where there was evidence of human remains and hundreds of morbid statues were created. These days when a new body is found, they use a clear resin that preserves the tissue for future research.
Xin Zhui, also known as the original Lady Dai, was the wife of Li Cang, the Marquis of Dai, almost two thousand two hundred years ago. So, as you can imagine, the discovery of her body in miraculously good nick in 1971 was big news.
Not only is she the best-preserved corpse ever, but her tomb was jam-packed with a whole bevy of unprecedented finds from the Han Dynasty era.
If you’re visiting China, Lady Dai can be seen today in Hunan Provincial Museum in Changsha, the province’s capital.
King Tut is the probably the most famous ex-person on our list due to all the posthumous world tours his personal effects have been on over the last few decades.
The man himself can be seen nestled in his emptied-out tomb back in the Valley of the Kings near Cairo, while his things spend most of their time (when not on tour) in the Eqyptian Museum in Cairo itself.