The Washington National Cathedral at night

Noclip/Wikimedia (Public Domain)

People freaked after Washington National Cathedral finds 5,000 masks in crypt

'Can we back up to the existence of a crypt?'


Mikael Thalen

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 25, 2020

The Washington National Cathedral discovered 5,000 masks in its crypt on Wednesday amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Wait, what?

You heard that correctly. The American cathedral of the Episcopal Church in the nation’s capital has a crypt. But it wasn’t coffins, sarcophagi, or religious relics that a group of stonemasons found this week. Instead, thousands of respirator masks were discovered in storage.

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According to the Washington Post, the respirators had been purchased in 2006 due to the bird flu (H1N1) and will now be donated to two nearby hospitals.

That’s all nice and good. But what’s up with the crypt? At least that’s what Twitter users wanted to know.

“Can we back up to the existence of a crypt?” user @dandrezner asked.

Even after the fact was established that yes, the Washington National Cathedral has a crypt, some just weren’t ready to accept it. Others questioned whether Nicholas Cage, star of the 2004 film National Treasure, was somehow involved.

Perhaps it’s also no coincidence that Cage owns a “pyramid tomb” in New Orleans.

“This is from a movie script, right?” user @AdultingCzar asked. “Something with Nicolas Cage?”

Believe it or not, reality may actually be more bizarre than the memes the crypt has spawned.

The crypt, to say the least, is quite historic. Notable figures who are buried there include deaf and blind author Helen Keller and former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. And while he isn’t buried there, civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the church’s pulpit prior to his death.

Who would have thought a place for storing the dead would also be a place to find life-saving medical equipment? It wouldn’t hurt to check your own crypts for medical supplies when possible.


H/T the Washington Post

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*First Published: Mar 25, 2020, 8:04 pm CDT