Lifestyle & Belief

King Richard III had worms, researchers say


A facial reconstruction of King Richard III is unveiled by the Richard III Society on Feb. 5, 2013, in London. After carrying out a series scientific investigations on remains found in a car park in Leicester, the University of Leicester announced that they were those of King Richard III.


Dan Kitwood

As if being a hunchback wasn't enough.

Researchers in England say they have discovered new evidence showing King Richard III was likely infected with intestinal worms during his medieval reign.

(Insert collective "ewwwww" here.)

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The remains of Richard III, who ruled from 1483-1485, were found beneath a car park last year in the central English city of Leicester.

DNA testing in February confirmed the remains were his. Richard was the last king from the House of York and the last to die during battle, falling in the War of the Roses.

Since the discovery, scientists have been pouring over Richard's grave and his remains.

In a study published in the journal Lancet, researchers said they discovered numerous roundworm eggs in the soil around Richard's pelvis, where his intestines would have been.

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No such eggs were found near his skill, and only a few in the soil around his grave.

It was the first time any English monarch had been shown to be infected with worms, which were likely little more than an annoyance to Richard while he was alive.

"Richard probably had more than enough food that he could share with his worms," Piers Mitchell, a professor of biological anthropology at Cambridge University, told The Associated Press.