Hunterian Museum & Wi-fi


British Library The Three Living and Three Dead

I will write about something different today. I am making an effort. So let’s go sciencetastic.

Over Easter I visited the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons. I’ve always wanted to visit it (because I am weird) and I was not disappointed. There were babies in jars and anatomical weirdness galore along with the bits of animals crossing many species.

It was arranged by subject so that you’d have a case full of jars of digestive organs from different species, or a case of eyes or vertebrae etc so that you could compare how different structures are put together in differing animals. The best/worst sections were the morbid anatomy cases filled with things that go wrong with our bodies.

The collection was put together in the 1700’s, therefore lots of the specimens involve syphilis. From the terrible erosion of skulls, bones and soft tissues I gained new insight into just how bad that disease can be and how horrible it can get is it is left untreated. Monstrous. The congenital form is particularly sad. Get yourself checked regularly!

It was somewhat odd to be browsing the specimens with my Mother and come across a case full of cancer-riddled breasts (she has had two lumpectomies) and some jars full of nasal polyps (that I have to have excavated from my head).

The most glorious was the section of a boy’s head showing the polyp that didn’t turn out to be benign (it could happen to me one day) which when you looked around that back you could see his face.

Some diseased penii
Some diseased uteri/vulvae
Royal College of Surgeons Surgicat

Wellcome Library Electronic Texts

Bad Science: Electromagnetism
Bad Science Forum BBC Aiding Wi-Fi Scare?

2 Responses to Hunterian Museum & Wi-fi

  1. Dave says:

    I think I would like to go there. I found the embryo/foetus section of the Bodies exhibition to be very beautiful.
    I don’t find that I form any real connection with body parts or things in jars or dead bodies though so it might end up feeling a bit nothingy if I go alone. I’m not sure if I would be able to relate or react to something that was more, I dunno, visceral? Slippery and purple and warm – that sort of thing. It’s tempting to see how far you can push yourself before some mental wall breaks and you actually *see* mortality.

  2. Dave says:

    Or indeed before you are repulsed or sickened. I worry that I’m not sickened often, like perhaps my morality is too flexible to be offended. I think I might react to an awful smell or a noise.
    Well this has been a useful addendum.