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Why is this ancient Egyptian statue slowly turning by itself!?

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Talk about spooky: There's a statuette in a Manchester Museum display case that's slowly rotating — completely on its own — over the course of the day until it's facing the opposite direction. It might be the curse of Neb-Sanu — or perhaps something much simpler.

The 10-inch tall statuette of Neb-Sanu, which has been in the museum for the past 80 years, only spins during the day. The 3,800 year-old artifact doesn't appear to move at night.


The Independent reports:

Campbell Price, an Egyptologist at the museum, suggests the museum may have been struck by ancient curse.

He told the Manchester Evening News: "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.

“I put it back but then the next day it had moved again. We set up a time-lapse video and, although the naked eye can’t see it, you can clearly see it rotate on the film. The statuette is something that used to go in the tomb along with the mummy.

“Mourners would lay offerings at its feet.

“In Ancient Egypt they believed that if the mummy is destroyed then the statuette can act as an alternative vessel for the spirit. Maybe that is what is causing the movement.”.


The likely explanation? Differential friction. The two different surfaces — the bottom of the stone statuette and the glass shelf — are rubbing against each other as museum-goers create step vibrations. And it's these vibrations that are making the statuette slowly spin.

But the museum curators aren't buying it, saying “But it has been on those surfaces since we have had it and it has never moved before. And why would it go around in a perfect circle?”