This Mummified Corpse Is The Ancestor Of A Famous Politician. People Think The Resemblance Is Uncanny

Take a look at that face. Do you find it weirdly recognizable? Are you getting uncontrollable urges to vote it out of office as soon as democracy will allow? 

We’re right there with you. The resemblance is sort of uncanny.

The corpse in question has been the subject of mystery since it was discovered in 1975, during renovations at Basel’s Barfüsser Church in Switzerland, BBC News reports.

Now a team of scientists working on a documentary about the mummy for Swiss TV channel SRF has revealed she’s the great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother of UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.



If you don’t live in the UK you may know him from such political gaffes as “Boris gets stuck on zip wire” and “Boris rugby tackles 10-year-old boy whilst on diplomatic visit to Japan“.


 Other than looking quite like the Foreign Secretary, people have been noticing other “similarities” between the two.

The body of Anna Catharina Bischoff was buried before the altar of the Swiss church, wearing clothes that indicate her wealth. She looked to be well fed, and her location near the altar suggests she was from a rich family, as this space was reserved for wealthy members of the community. As her grave was unmarked, however, they still didn’t know who she was.

Analysis of her coffin indicated that she was buried around the 16th century, but her body was remarkably well preserved by high levels of mercury. Mercury was used as a treatment for syphilis from the late 1400s all the way through to the 19th century, confirming the time period.

However, the researchers were still unsure of her identity, until records were found indicating that she had been dug up once before in 1843. These new records made historians believe that she may have been a member of the wealthy Bischoff family.



DNA testing of one of her toes and a living descendent of the Bischoff family confirmed that she was a 99.8 percent match. Working together, scientists and historians confirmed that the body is that of Anna Catharina Bischoff, who died in 1787.

Bischoff had seven children, one of whom married Christian Hubert Baron Pfeffel von Kriegelstein. Precisely the kind of name you’d guess one of Boris Johnson’s ancestors would have. von Krigelstein went on to have many descendants, including one Boris Johnson.

Reaction online, as you’d expect, is focussing on the sexually transmitted infection part of the story…

… and asking for the mummified corpse to take on Boris’ role as Foreign Secretary.

However, before you get too excited in your rush to mock Boris Johnson, it’s worth pointing out that Bischoff will have many descendants, given the number of generations that have existed since she was alive.

Nevertheless, we’re with you that the resemblance is uncanny.

The full documentary about the find will air in Switzerland on SRF this Thursday.

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