Suez Canal Crisis or the 'Curse of the Pharaohs'? Netizens Blame Recent Disasters in Egypt on Plans to Relocate Mummies

On Saturday, April 3, 22 ancient mummies will be moved in a high-profile parade from the National Museum in Tahrir Square to another museum in Cairo.

Last week, a large container ship ran aground in Egypt's Suez Canal causing a massive traffic jam of vessels at either end of one of the most important shipping routes in the world.

The 200,000-tonne, 400-metre-long vessel, called Ever Given, became stuck on Tuesday near the southern end of the canal, which links the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. The vessel blocked the waterway for six days, resulting in massive losses to global trade, estimated at $54 billion.

Evergreen container ship
The Ever Given container ship, owned by Evergreen Marine Corp, became stuck in the Suez Canal on Tuesday, causing a massive traffic jam at either end of the waterway. Twitter

The Suez Canal crisis was not the only disaster that struck Egypt in the past week. On Friday, two trains collided in southern Egypt, killing 22 people. On Saturday, a high-rise building collapsed in Cairo, leaving at least 23 people dead. Later, a fire broke out at shops adjunct to Zagazig railway station and another small fire erupted inside Al-Azhar tunnel. Elsewhere, an under-construction bridge column collapsed in Mariotya.

This has led many to believe that there is a supernatural cause behind the recent string of disasters and it may have something to do with a procession to transfer 22 royal mummies from one museum to another.

What is the 'Curse of the Pharaohs'?

The curse of the pharaohs or the mummy's curse is a is a curse alleged to be cast upon anyone who disturbs the mummy of an ancient Egyptian, especially a pharaoh. The curse is laid upon the remains during its burial by mythical priests and is claimed to bring bad luck, illness, or death.

In 1922, more than 20 people who worked in the excavation of Pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb died under mysterious circumstances, which substantiated the belief of the pharaoh's curse.


Some people claimed on social media that the successive mishaps were a manifestation of the "Pharaohs' curse" because of next week's plan to move 22 ancient mummies and 17 royal tombs in a high-profile parade from the National Museum in Tahrir Square to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The procession, called the "Pharoahs Golden Parade," is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 3.

The Parade will include the remains of King Ramesses II, Seqenenre Tao, Thutmose III, and Seti I, and queens Hatshepsut, Meritamen, the wife of King Amenhotep I and Ahmose-Nefertari, wife of King Ahmose.

"The recent tragedies in Egypt - Suez Canal, train crash, building crash, and bridge crash seem to be a manifestation of the curse related to the mummies being moved to the new museum. The mummies have been awakened. They are returning," wrote one user, while another commented, "Death shall come on swift wings to him that toucheth the tomb of the pharaoh."- the curse of king tut's tomb.."

Archaeologists Deny the Rumors

Despite the social media speculations, historians and archaeologists have rejected the rumors. "This talk is baseless because the relocation of the mummies will honour them as they will be put in a place becoming of them and their history," renowned archaeologist Zahi Hawwas said.

He added that the that the deaths of some archaeologists after they opened ancient Egyptian tombs in the past years was because these tombs had poisonous germs inside.

"The procession of the royal mummies [during their relocation] is the biggest publicity for Egypt. The eyes of the whole world will be fixed on Egypt amid great respect during the transport of the mummies that will take 40 minutes," Hawwas argued.