At first glance, this statue seems like a traditional take on the Buddha, probably dating back to about the 11th or 12th century. In reality, it is much, much more!
After being found in Mongolia, the statue was taken to the Drents Museum in the Netherlands. It was then given a CT scan and endoscopy. What was found inside was truly amazing: The center of this statue holds the mummified remains of Liuquan of the Chinese Meditation School, an ancient Buddhist master. Interestingly, many Buddhists don't believe that masters like Liuquan are actually dead, but are simply in an advanced state of meditation.
Liuquan's remains were not a surprise finding for the scientists at Drents, but they did find something they weren't expecting: Inside of the mummified body cavity were scraps of paper covered in Chinese writing. Researchers are investigating the meaning of these ancient scrolls while the statue is on display at the Hungarian Natural History Museum.