Historians have pored over the remains and mystery of King Tut since the discovery of the long-deceased Egyptian Pharaoh in 1922, and a fresh theory sheds new light on why the ancient ruler was laid to rest in an unusual manner. In unscientific terms, Tut — short for Tutankhamun — was mummified with an erection, something American University in Cairo Egyptologist Salima Ikram now suggests was to let the dead ruler continue a religious campaign against his father.

Playing a god after death

The two men had separate ideologies about the worship of gods, notes Live Science. Tut's father tried to do away with the worship of any gods, instead choosing Aten, the so-called disk of the sun. A new possibility, says Ikram, was to bury Tutankhamun as Osiris (Egypt's god of the underworld), so that he could continue the effort in the afterlife. Other oddities of Tut's mummification included the dark oils that were put on the body, along with the removal of the heart.

The physical peculiarity continues to be notable given that no other mummies have been found with a similar burial procedure, Ikram says. For Tut though, it's just the latest attention on the unlikely area. His penis was discovered missing in the late 1960s, then rediscovered nearby the burial site. There was also separate research in 2010 suggesting Tut suffered a physical ailment that gave sufferers abnormally longer skulls, and smaller-than-usual you-know-whats.