Make a yummy fish mummy

by Stephanie Chasteen on October 30, 2009

Ok, it probably wouldn’t be very yummy, but here’s another hands-on activity you can use that’s rather Halloween-like.  Called “Make a ‘mummy'”, this Exploratorium activity is a great way to demonstrate how mummification works, by drying out the tissue in a fish using baking soda.  Egyptians used a specific type of salt to do this, but baking soda will do the trick, giving you a tough leathery fish.

If you’d just left your fish out on a shelf, exposed to the air, bacteria and fungi would have begun to decay the fish, creating strong, unappetizing odors. Since all living things require water to survive, removing the water from the fish greatly inhibited the growth of these organisms, decreasing the unpleasant effects of rotting.

For an inquiry activity, try substituting salt for baking soda. Which one works best?  (Hint:  It’s not the salt).

Make him a little pyramid home. Imagine his little fishy afterlife.  Bury some fishy mummy friends for him to play with.

From Platonides on Flickr

From Platonides on Flickr


Captain Skellett November 5, 2009 at 5:39 am


donanim haber April 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm

information you provided worked for me too. thank you very much

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