From the dissection of the brain to advancement in plastic surgery, the human body has been of great interest to doctors, scientists and patients for endless centuries. The intricacies that make the human body tick are never-ending and there is always something new that emerges in the science community. In this article, you will learn more about three interesting museums centering on the human body or body parts that are found all over the world.
Museum of Anatomy – Paris, France
Honore Fragonard made his name in the science community as a professor of anatomy, but when he started to show the symptoms of insanity, he was fired. However, he still remained active and 20 years later, he started to work on collecting specimens that would later transform into the Museum of Anatomy. In 1794, he began accumulating dead bodies. These eventually became the star attractions for the largest anatomy museum in France that was created to house his growing collection of corpses. Fragonard personally stripped the skin from the dead bodies and used a secret recipe to embalm the corpses. To this day, no one knows how he accomplished this feat.
In the collection, you will find the preserved flayed bodies of animals, children and even criminals who have undergone execution. He also collected the skulls from asylums for the mentally disturbed. The contents are enough to make you lose your lunch, so much so that people must make an appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays to enter the museum.
Some of the specimens held at the museum include:
• The Spitzner collection of anatomical wax models that date back to the 19th century
• An exhibit centered on malformations of the brain that occur in rats
• Casts of livers, hearts and lungs
The Mutter Museum – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
If you enjoy museums that showcase a range of skulls and anatomical specimens, then the Mutter Museum in North America is a real sight to see. Located as part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the museum is filled with wax models, pathological displays and antique medical equipment. The original items of the collection date back to 1858, where Dr. Thomas Dent Mutter donated his possessions.
It is here that you will encounter the tallest skeleton on display, as well as a wax model of a woman with a human horn growing out of her forehead. The oddities found at the museum are never ending.
Some of the things you will encounter at the museum include:
• A human colon measuring five feet long – filled with more than 40 pounds of feces
• The petrified body of the "Soap Lady," whose entire body turned into soap after she died
• The malignant tumor taken out of President Grover Cleveland's hard palate
• Preserved human fetal specimens
• Slides of Albert Einstein's brain
• The conjoined liver from the infamous Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker
• A growth removed from Abraham's Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth
The museum is located on 19 South 22nd Street in Philadelphia. It costs $15 for an entry fee.
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