In June of 1934, two prospectors, Cecil Main and Frank Carr, were using explosives to mine for gold in the San Pedro Mountains of Wyoming. After the dust of one of their blasts cleared, Main and Carr discovered a small… Read More ›
The skeletal remains of the ‘Irish Giant’ at the Hunterian
Charles Byrne (1761–1783) worked as a “freak” known as “the Irish Giant” at the Cox Museum in London in the 1780’s. It was rumored that he was so tall that he could light his pipe from a street lamp. During… Read More ›
The genetic mutation that turns muscle into bone
In 1933 Harry Raymond Eastlack, Jr. was born with a rare genetic disease called fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) that turned his connective tissue (muscles, ligaments and tendons) into bone, causing him to have painful, restricted mobility throughout his 40 years. FOP… Read More ›
The curved spine of Richard III
In September 2012, the University of Leicester announced they had exhumed the body of King Richard III under the parking lot at a social services office the month before. The last of the Plantagenet Kings, who was killed in battle… Read More ›
Skulls destroyed by late stage syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria, Treponema palladium, and was first described during the Siege of Naples in 1495. It has three stages: primary, secondary, and tertiary. It’s during the tertiary stage, or the final stage, that bones are… Read More ›
Tubular sequestrum of a femur
This isn’t part of an ancient weapon or a stake dug out of a vampire burial. This is actually a sequestrum of a femur removed from a private who served during the Civil War. A sequestrum is a piece of… Read More ›
Why do the bones of a wealthy medieval family show signs of malnutrition?
The Medicis were one of the richest, most powerful families of the Renaissance. This family produced four popes, and were patrons to Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Ironically this wealth may have contributed to malnutrition in their children. Malnutrition can… Read More ›
Why does the Atacama skeleton look like an alien but is actually human?
This bizarre little 6-inch skeleton was found in a pouch in the Atacama Desert in Chile in 2003. Almost immediately the skeleton, nicknamed ‘Ata’ for the desert in which it was found, sparked the imaginations of people around the world and… Read More ›
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