The human body starts decomposing as soon as the spirit leaves it. Within the first 24 hours it gets ransacked by maggots before full-scale decay starts. The body becomes unidentifiable in a matter of weeks, unless of course it was embalmed with preserving chemicals as was done in the process of mummification.
But in some extremely rare cases, human bodies survive this natural process of disintegration and retain their original form long after being dead. One such extraordinary case is of the Children of Llullaillaco.
Discovered in 1999, these are frozen mummies of three children who were buried some 500 years ago at Mount Llullaillaco, which is situated on the border of Chile and Argentina. So well preserved are these three bodies that it seems they were alive until a few days ago.
Their superb state of being completely hides the fact that they've been dead for more than five centuries.
Named "La Doncella", this is the eldest of the three children. It's believed she died in her sleep after being drugged by coca leaves and maize beer. That explains her posture.
this is real " Children of Llullaillaco " pic.twitter.com/GHo8KBoM51— Dityo Kristyanto (@Wooooooooooooks) February 22, 2014
The here is the youngest of the three children dubbed "La niña del rayo", or "Lightning Girl." Her name owes to the fact that she was struck by lightning after her death.
This is the site where Dr. Johan Reinhard found the mummies buried.