Tag Archives: taxonomy

Stuff I saw at the Hunterian Museum


Hunter was an excellent surgeon and meticulously antiseptic. He saved tons of human lives. He also (killed and?) bottled loads of humans and non humans.

Went with my mate Andrew on Saturday. It was one degree Cel in London. Andrew and I were both streaming with rhinovirus when we entered the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons. We saw loads of weird things:

– The eyelid – just the closed, sewn shut hairy ol eyelid, of a giraffe
– The foetus of a dolphin
– Lots of possums. Too many possums. Too many dead possums in the world and they’re always lactating, dammit
– Lots of organs with plastinised, resinified blood vessels (in the 1800s? sweet)
– The foetus of a walrus (Yes, 1800s! Where did these guys get this stuff?)
– A chick with 4 legs
– Every pathology of cow uterus in the book
– Sparrow testes, big in spring, small in winter
– A whole preserved passerine bird and its whole preserved nest with its whole brood of hatchlings gaping for food
– Skeleton of Charles Byrne, the Irish Giant – 7ft 7
– Human foetal skeletons, all gestations, both incredibly itty cute and insanely ghoulish
– Half the face of a dead 14 year old boy
– Unusual tusks
– Human dentition of the various maladies
– Brain of porpoise
– A history of plastic surgery on the western front

It is great to live in a city where you can see these things. Not sure it beats the internet internet. I hope Seth isn’t having mental thoughts from organising his order book right now.

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,