Wu Yunqing
Human Mummy
276CABF700000578-0-Then and now Buddhist Wu Yunqing pictured left looks remarkably -a-97 1428677953435
Biographical Information
Name(s) Wu Yunqing
Age 102
Sex male
Culture Buddhist
Site Wu Yunqing Memorial Garden at Linquan temple
Current Location
Location Henan Province
Catalog #

Wu Yunqing was born raised in Henan Province. His parents died when he was 15, thus leaving him as an orphan. Yunqing ran away from home and travelled to Shaanxi Qing Hua temple and became a monk. His disciples buried him in Lingquan Temple.


Wu Yunqing's disciples placed his body in the lotus position and later sealed him inside a large porcelain vase with cement. The body was later taken out three years later and positioned a crystal glass cover in the Wu Yunqing Memorial Garden at Linquan temple. To aid with the preservation process, a variety of ingredients such as, ground lime, shredded wood, coal, and sandalwood were put into the vase.


Experts at the Henan College of Traditional Chinese Medicine believe that the body was preserved with formaldehyde, a chemical that destroys the enzymes that cause decay. The formaldehyde causes protein denaturation to prevent the body from decaying. The use of formaldehyde will cause a dark pickled corpse that is soft and flexible.  


Self-mummification is a way to preserve a person's body after death and is common is various parts of Asia. The key to a successful mummification is the use of a large porcelain vase, according to the Buddhist traditions. If the body is preserved well, the monk will potentially be wrapped in a layer of gold foil and turned into a statue.


Liu, L. (2015). Body of Buddhist monk remains in excellent condition 17 years after death, opened to public. Shanghaiist. Retrieved 2 April 2016, from

Pickles, K., & Chow, E. (2015). People flock to see body of monk who died 17 years ago. Mail Online. Retrieved 2 April 2016, from

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