The mummified remains of a monkey found by workers renovating the old Dayton's Department Store in Minneapolis has historians scratching their heads.  

Mummified Monkey At Mall Mystifies Minneapolitans

The 116-year-old Dayton's Department Store building on Nicollet Mall (a twelve-block portion of Nicollet Avenue running through downtown Minneapolis) is currently undergoing a $200 million renovation and repurposing. As workers were tearing out the store's old ceiling, they stumbled upon something remarkable: a mummified carcass of a monkey!

While it's estimated the now-crispy critter has been deceased for decades, nobody seems to know how it got there in the first place. The mystery has so far stumped the experts – so much so, that they've asked the general public for help. Construction worker Adam Peterson recently posted a photo of the “petrified primate” on a Facebook page called Old Minneapolis, titling the post “The Mystery of the Mummified Minneapolis Monkey.”

Mummified Monkey At Mall Mystifies Minneapolitans

Some theories are already being offered up to explain the old Dayton's Department Store's slightly-creepy ceiling monkey. One comes from an unusual source: Regan Murphy, the mayor of nearby Robbinsdale. “My dad once stole a monkey from a Dayton's display back in the '60s,” Murphy wrote on Twitter. It seems Murphy's grandmother was less than impressed with the monkey (and the mess it made), so Murphy brought the monkey back to Dayton's, “put him on an escalator, and left the store.” Kids those days!

Another source recalled that Dayton's used to feature a “Pet-O-Rama” which, according to a newspaper ad, was “a menagerie of delightful pets from all over the world!” One story, told by a former Dayton's employee who had worked at the store for over 50 years, described how a monkey once escaped from the in-store pet shop through a ventilation duct... but didn't make it past the spinning metal fan blades at the duct's exit. OUCH! A deep cut on the mummified monkey's abdomen lends credence to the tale while reminding all and sundry that danger's always lurking, even in the concrete jungle. (via Minneapolis StarTribune)