Loggers Can’t Believe What They Find In Middle Of A Tree.
Killgrove analyzes tissue decay and explains how the putrefying process begins when microbes begin to eat the tissue shortly after death. “They grow, they reproduce, and they start taking over the body,” she explained. But a property within the chestnut tree prevented nature from taking its course. Chestnut trees contain tannin, an organic substance that acts as a desiccant and absorbs moisture. It was the lack of moisture that prevented microbes from beginning the decaying process. But what about scavengers living outside the tree?
Masking The Scent
When microbes begin to consume a deceased body, natural predators are lured by the smell and arrive to turn the body into a meal. But the chestnut tree prevented this from happening to the dog. In fact, it blew the air up through the hollow trunk like a chimney, which prevented other animals from smelling it. “Anything that would eat dead flesh would never know he was in the tree,” explained Bertha Sue Dixon, Southern Forest World's director. But one question about this mystery remained.
The Final Chase That Ended His Life
Heather Miller / YouTube
The question remained, how did the dog wind up inside the trunk of this tree? According to Dixon, “He’s a hunting dog, so we assumed that he was chasing something in the tree.” According to experts, the dog, who was 4 years old at the time, was probably chasing a raccoon or a squirrel around 1960. He may have followed his prey into the tree, but got stuck 28 feet in, where it likely died of starvation. But now he's preserved forever, and he's very popular.
The mummified dog has been extremely popular in the Southern Forest World. In fact, the attraction can be found prominently displayed in the central rotunda of the building. It's also surrounded by a variety of tree specimens like cypress, oak, and pine trees. He's such a star that his image is on promotional materials and even postcards. But ironically, it would be decades before the dog would get a name.
RhincodonTypus1 / Imgur
The hound was called the "Mummified Dog" up until 2002. That's when the museum had a naming contest and some of the runner-up names included "Chipper," and "Dogwood." But the museum picked "Stuckie" as the winner. The person who came up with the dog's name said that the dog's trunk coffin was like "pecan logs," which are sold in Stuckey's convenience stores. Of course, to avoid trademark infringement, the museum had to change the spelling a bit. If you're interested, you can go to the Southern Forest World in Waycross, Georgia and pay Stuckie the Mummified Dog a visit.
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