A 1949 earthquake in Guano, Ecuador at the convent Asunsion de Guano revealed the mummy of what is believed to be a friar and guardian of the convent. The time has finally come for French pathologist Dr. Philippe Charlier to examine the corpse, and the discoveries could be groundbreaking.
The mummified body was found in a large, earthenware jar between the walls of the convent next to a mummified rat.
This particular body is believed to be from the 1560s, and he is believed to be around 85 to 90 when he died.
Dr. Charlier has also studied the remains of Hitler, Descartes, and Robespierre.
Because of the body’s unique burial, it was protected from flies and larvae, so the tissues are well-preserved.
Most interestingly, these tissues bear markings of rheumatoid arthritis.
“This is an extremely important mummy for the history of diseases.”
Rheumatoid arthritis originated in America before Christopher Columbus’ arrival.
When speaking further about the disease, Charlier explained that the mummy could hold the key to understanding, and possibly curing, the painful condition.
“The mummy of Guano may be the link missing that will allow us to understand how this disease, which was originally American, then became a global disease by hybridization, by the confrontation between two worlds.”
Interestingly, the news broke just before Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day, propelling the desperate need and hope for a cure.
Today is Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness day. I suffer from this chronic disease. Chronic means there is no cure. But I’m hopeful that one day a cure will be found. RA isn’t just Arthritis.… https://t.co/Frgzwhgast— Jada Scarbrough (@sthrngrlsrck) February 3, 2019
We're doing the Walk to Cure again for our daughter Emery. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis two years ago. Please consider donating. The @ArthritisFdn needs your support to help find a cure for #arthritis! https://t.co/mMwctYeOLy via @DonorDrive. Thanks!— Splyce/Defiant Sarah (@Sarahlee0912) February 1, 2019
So here's to surviving another day! And cheers to the #RheumatoidArthritis #AutoImmune researchers out there one crazy idea away a cure for these terrible diseases! 💜Much love also to the Caregivers in our lives! CC @BurningEarth2 Thx for being my hands and my hope sweetheart 💓 pic.twitter.com/KaisogirVK— PurpleGimp (@PurpleGimp) February 1, 2019
Just so tired ya'll. To be so sick and hurt so much 24/7 year after year after year rinse repeat takes it's toll on you in so many ways. I hang on for my family, and for the hope someone will find a cure, or better treatment, but I'm just worn so out #rheumatoidarthritis— PurpleGimp (@PurpleGimp) February 1, 2019
Getting out of house today adorned with awareness decor 💙Despite gr8 advancements in treatments for #rheum -this disease is relentless if not stopped! Research must be funded & continued to find answers & a cure! #CureArthritis #Believe #RheumatoidArthritis pic.twitter.com/C5xuQzdhcu— Thérèse Humphrey 💙 (@TerezHumphrey) August 1, 2018
#ArthritisAwarenessMonth I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at only 18 months old. Yes, kids get arthritis, too! It is hard to grow up with chronic pain & fatigue. It is frustrating when your body can't keep up with your goals. We need more research and a CURE!! pic.twitter.com/593lROitbs— Wendy J Hawkins (@WendyHawk142) May 3, 2018
I #AdvocateForArthritis so that kids with chronic conditions can know and OWN their worth.— Ana Villafañe (@aanavee) March 13, 2018
I've lived with Rheumatoid arthritis since I was seven years old, and one day there will be a cure for this painful, often "invisible" disease.
The stigma is real-- but so is your power. pic.twitter.com/XY8IFJ8Wwr
There is no cure for the kind of disease that I have kind of wish there was a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis but sadly not…— BaconNBewbsRule 🚸underconstruction🚸 (@BaconNBewbsRule) January 25, 2018
2017 has had its ups and downs, but one of its lows was being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 19. Everyone let’s #find #a #cure #autoimmune #disease I am a #warrior👍🏼👑🌈⚡️ pic.twitter.com/E05RGKmcvr— Anna Kessler (@annakessler_) December 31, 2017
Hopefully this friar’s remains can change others’ lives by leading researchers to a cure.