Skeleton Mario first appeared paid DLC in 2017’s Super Mario Odyssey. Nobody knew where this demon came from or why he exists — but these aren’t the only mysteries his appearance brings.
The skeleton’s moustache, for example, is extremely perplexing. While it certainly identifies the animate corpse as Mario himself, would he really retain his moustache after death? Join us as we investigate.
For background, this suit is one of the rarest in Super Mario Odyssey and costs 9,999 coins.
Here’s the description taken directly from the game: “This skeleton costume uses cutting-edge, er, something to, um… Look, we’re not sure how this works. But it’s cool, right?”
So, even the game isn’t sure how the skeleton costume works. In fact, it seems rather nervous about its existence. Deeply unsettling, but we’ll continue.
When Mario dons this creepy costume, he sheds all skin and clothing and loses his major internal organs yet somehow, he lives. For now, let’s assume this state Mario occupies resembles real-life death. Of course, if Mario was really dead he wouldn’t be running around screaming ‘wahoo’ but the world of Mario is a strange and frightening place.
If we assume Mario is in a semi-real death state, several things have happened to his body since he became a skeleton. As moisture departs a human body, skin starts to dehydrate and shrink. Skin, hair and nail cells cease producing new cells and instead start to decompose.
According to the BBC, facial hair begins to pull back towards the skull as skin dehydrates, making stubble appear more prominent. This means in the process of becoming a skeleton, Mario’s lucious moustache will have grown slightly longer.
Hair is made of keratin, an insoluble substance regarded as one of the strongest biological substances in nature. This means body hair outlasts any other biological component of the human body during the decay process.
Technically, it also means Skeleton Mario would retain his moustache after death — but this isn’t the end of the story.
Ultimately, hair and bone will eventually decay. This depends on body storage, moisture in the environment, surrounding chemicals and animal interference.
According to the Australian Museum, hair disappears from a skeleton approximately 50 to 365 days after death. (Be warned that link contains sensitive images.) This essentially means there’s a transitional period between death and total decay where Skeleton Mario resides. The Australian Museum places him in ‘Stage 6’ of decomposition, also known as dry decay.
So there you have it. While it’s scientifically possible for Skeleton Mario to retain his iconic moustache after death, it’s likely that within the space of a year, it would simply decay and fall off. Seems simple, right?
Unfortunately, the questions don’t end there when it comes to this strange being. For example, if Skeleton Mario has no eyes, how can he see? Dry Bones is another skeleton from the Mario franchise, but he clearly has eyes. Demonic, glowing eyes — but eyes all the same.
Has Skeleton Mario been wandering the streets of New Donk City just hoping for the best? What mysterious force is holding his bones together in the absence of muscle and skin? For what purpose has he been created?
The endless questions could send one insane.