DRENTS, Netherlands, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Asia is littered with statues of the Buddha. But only one (that researchers know about) hides a mummy inside. The ancient statue was discovered in China, but has been on display in the Netherlands in recent years.
Last year, researchers took the statue from its home at the Drents Museum to the Meander Medical Centre in Amersfoort, Netherlands. The statue was subjected to a CT scan and endoscopy, drawing small slender samples from the statue's interior.
Both the CT scan images and endoscope-recovered samples revealed something quite remarkable -- a mummified man was encased inside.
According to CNET, researchers believe the identity of the mummy to be a Buddhist master called Liuquan. Liuquan trained and taught at the Chinese Meditation School, and is believed to have died around 1100 CE -- possibly from a spiritual process known as self-mummification, whereby meditating monks are sealed inside a stone tomb.
The mummy statue's stay at Drents Museum is now up; it is now on display at the Hungarian Natural History Museum.