Since Europe’s most famous ice man was discovered on a lonely Alpine mountainside in 1991, an entire culture has sprouted around this anonymous Ladin forebear. Conspiracy theories have come thick and fast with some “revealing” Ötzi to be a Peruvian mummy transported to the Alps for publicity purposes. Others have claimed to be his direct descendants, while the “Ötzi diaries”, which appeared in the wake of the infamous “Hitler diaries”, were quickly dismissed as tomfoolery. The “Ötzi curse” stems from the fact that he was found on a palindromic date (19.9.1991), and indeed some people linked with the discovery have since died unexpectedly, while one woman has even offered to bear a child using Ötzi’s 5000-year-old sperm – she was politely rejected.

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