Camera Captures Ancient Egyptian Statue Spinning On Its Own

Time-lapse videos are all the rage these days, but the one above is unlike any that have ever been made. It shows an ancient Egyptian statue spinning around in a glass on its own.

The statue in the time-lapse is a 10-inch tall figurine of Neb-Senu found at the Manchester Museum in Manchester, England. Dating back to 1800BC, the statue was first added to the museum 80 years ago, and hasn’t been moved by human hands since.

However, curators at the museum recently noticed that the statue had turned in its case. All of the employees denied touching the statue, so the museum decided to point a camera at the figurine and capture photographs over a week to see if they could determine the cause.


After a week, they took the images and compiled them into the time-lapse video above. What they found—and this is a bit creepy—is that the statue appears to move entirely on its own, and only during the day. As long as the sun’s out, the statue turns so slowly that human observers don’t notice it. When the sun goes down, the movement stops.

Some people attribute the turning to an ancient Egyptian curse. Others believe it’s caused by the tiny vibrations of museum visitors walking around.

Whatever the cause, the mystery sparked by this time-lapse video has caused it to go viral online. Since being uploaded late last week, the video has already attracted nearly one million views as well as numerous articles in the media.

  • Jason Kirby

    Or this could be a social media stunt to get people to come into the museum.

  • Persio


  • Luke Dempsey

    Couldn’t it just be the vibrations on the wooden floor from the visitors?

  • DreadPirateZed

    Seems like this should be pretty easy to test: have a bunch of people come in at night and jog in place for a while.

  • Alan Green

    yes, it’s a curse. one that only has effect as people walk past the display case and not at night when nobody’s around.

    curse. that’s what it is. ancient curse!

    (but only when people walk past, not at night)


  • yup!

    Thats the one, more people walk past the more it turns..

  • Rob

    That case looks awful clean to be untouched in 80 years… Did they ask the cleaner ;-)

  • sheckie

    That VERY contemporary style case is actually 80 years old, eh? I smell an attempt at viral internet fame.

  • Eric Leslie

    Its intesting that it seems to have stopped turning when it got just past 180 degrees.

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    If there aren’t any people around to curse, it doesn’t do anything (^_^)

  • JoanieGranola

    I noticed that too. I think it’s because the base of the statue hits the wall of the case that makes it stop turning.

  • Jessica Wellman

    That was my thought… why did no one else notice that?

  • Amy Byrd Thompson

    Maybe that is what it was used for during that time period. Maybe it keeps up with the location of some astrology combination or planet?

  • Rusty Moore

    My guess is that the statue turns until it reaches a sort of physical “equilibrium” – i.e., the point in its rotation where the heaviest part of the free-turning statue is at the lowest point on its arc.

  • allan

    I was hoping that there’s a background music playing… “Walk like an egyptian (oh whey oh)”

  • Tracie Ewing

    I think the turning can be explained simply: vibrations from visitors cause the statue to turn until it hits an equilibrium point. Simple physics. Combine this a savvy marketing director who knows there are a LOT of folks out there who will buy the paranormal/curse explanation and voila: instant marketing campaign!

  • Ballookey Klugeypop

    That cabinet seems remarkably modern for being 80 years old. I don’t find it hard to believe that the statue has a subtle imperfection on it’s base that it pivots around, perhaps in response to vibrations of whatever source, but color me skeptical about the “human hands haven’t touched it in 80 years” part.

  • Chris Lyn

    It’s definitely the vibrations from the visitors. Notice how the statue turns more when there is more visitors passing by.

  • Tsai Ruei Huan

    vibration, floor too soft.

  • Steven Wade

    Or the fact that it only turns during the day?

  • Waleed Alzuhair

    Resonance.. The surface tension between the glass shelf and the bottom of the statute is different than that of the neighboring statutes. So, it spins when resonance occurs, when power is up.

    One needs to check where it’s coming from, but most likely: the light transformer attached to the case. Could be a fire hazard.

  • Waleed Alzuhair

    I see most museum workers wearing gloves, I hope they didn’t mean that :)

  • Computer_Expert

    If true, it would take a lot of vibration to move the statute, but possible. Lorry’s trucks and other vehicles, could be contributing to the movement. Another idea is that the material in the statue may be sensitive to higher than normal temperatures, during the day and because of the base, it is “turning” in a particular direction.

  • William Wolffe

    This is not photography news.

  • laura newbold

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  • Courtney Navey

    wait, there’s an ancient Egyptian statue, presumably priceless, that is locked inside of a glass case and it ends up a full 90 degrees from it’s original positioning and nobody stops to notice or make comment on it? Seriously? It’s definitely being moved from the vibrations what a bad attempt at creating a viral buzz.

  • Sky

    obviously it doesn’t like staring at the light. When the sun is behind it – everything is fine, so it doesn’t rotate any more.

  • 4dmaze

    If it is cursed, that has got to be the lamest curse ever. Whoever came up with that is probably the laughing stock of the underworld…

  • FuzzyWulfe

    I figured it only turned halfway because the staff would fix it when they see it facing the wrong way. You’d think someone would notice before that since it seems to take about three days to turn backwards.

  • Joe Van Cleave

    I call BS. The glass shelf and wall bracket look much newer than 80 years old, and I don’t see nearly a century of dust. Whatever the cause of the rotation, I’m convinced someone’s touched it more recently than 80 years ago.

  • Sergio

    She moves in mysterious ways…

  • Ra

    if you go through frame by frame the timecode is inconsistent in the top right corner. totally faked

  • kellquefois

    “hasn’t been moved by human hands since” the acquisition into the museum? What a silly statement! That looks like an awfully modern display vitrine, so I’m sure it’s been handled recently. At any rate, some pieces just have minds of their own!

  • Chris Pickrell

    They said the statue was added 80 years ago. No tthat it was put in that case 80 years ago.

  • kendon

    might wanna read the article again.

  • sheckie

    “and never again moved by human hands.”

  • jamal

    the question is ,, in which direction does this statue turns his face ? i’m guessing towards Mecca the Holly ground

  • Chris Pickrell

    I did. I don’t see what you’re referring to.

  • Chris Pickrell

    …by “HUMAN” hands.

    They never said it was never moved.

  • sheckie

    It’s the “No HOMERSSSSSS” club.
    We’re allowed to have one. :)

  • kendon

    we all know how museums have robots that do these things autonomously.

  • John Brown

    Since it only spins when there’s floor traffic and stops at a certain point, the vibration causes the heavy side to turn to the lowest place on the glass. Pretty simple.

  • Sugando Pulando

    He said he guessed other people just want to piss in everyone’s cereal.

  • Adam Holland

    Vibration seems plausible. Couldn’t Benedict Cumberbatch come figure it out for us?