Hunterian Museum

Hello y’all fellow weirdos! It’s been a while since my last post, my apologies, but life here in London is crazy. Anyway, I’m always on the lookout for unordinary places to visit…and believe me, here in London there are loads of them! Lucky me!

15970415_10211271079243387_223990021_n

Finally I had the chance to visit the Hunterian Museum, which is the home of the biggest collection of human and animal anatomical and pathological specimens I’ve ever seen in my life.

15978137_10211271079283388_608073977_n

All those little jars filled with your fears, because yes, if you are like me and suffer from entomophobia (aka insectophobia), then you might have some problems. Trust me, this is the closest I can be to a (dead) insect, although the iridescent beetles were too cute.

 

If you are into medicine and surgery, or if you are an all-round weirdo like myself, you might find the section they have regarding surgery history very fascinating. Cases full of old medical devices that make you cringe when thinking of their use.

Here you can also admire the skeleton of Charles Byrne – the Irish giant, well preserved foetuses, deformities, bizarre animals and so on. This museum is a treasure for the curious minds and even if you don’t have a “medical background” it definitely worth the visit, is free and the gift shop is adorable, here you will find tiny glow-in-the-dark skeletons, skeleton t-shirts and a lot of interesting books.

The Hunterian Museum
Royal College of Surgeons
35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3PE

Elle. xx

Hello, I’m an alien!

tumblr_n9lswrhqys1ru5h8co1_500

I’ve been abducted by the aliens and that’s why I haven’t been posting lately.

Well, the truth is a lot less fascinating, I’m just experiencing some technical difficulties, but the real part is that I might be an alien.

There’s a theory that’s been driving the web crazy during these last years, which is about the RH Negative blood type.

According to this “scientific” theory, in the distant past, extraterrestrial beings visited the Earth and created, through “genetic manipulation,” the Rh Negative with an intention of creating a race of “slaves”. Experts can’t agree about where the origin of this side order of humans may have originated – fallen angel or aliens as possible sources, but they do agree on the characteristics which can include:

  • Higher than average IQ
  • More sensitive vision and other senses.
  • Lower body temperature
  • Higher blood pressure (or lower than average)
  • Increased occurrence of psychic/intuitive abilities
  • Predominantly blue, green, or hazel eyes
  • Red or reddish hair
  • Increased sensitivity to heat and sunlight
  • Cannot be cloned
  • Extra vertebra

Once you have finished checking yourself over, if you are Rhesus Negative you are already very special as very few (15%) people fall within that category. But what does Rhesus Negative mean exactly? Of the human blood types, O is the most common. It is a universal blood type. Blood types are further broken down into two groups, negative and positive. This is called the RH factor. The RH factor is the Rhesus (rhesus as in monkey) blood factor. If your blood tests positive for this, you have the factor in your blood. If you test negative, you do not have the factor in your blood. The RH factor is a protein found in the human blood that is directly linked to the Rhesus Monkey.

62fea8bd566701266d5cfed18f1434e6

Most people, about 85%, have RH-positive blood. That could support the idea that humans evolved or were derived from Primates. 15 % of humans have RH-negative blood. If blood type is one of least mutable human characteristic, where did the RH negative come from? This question has puzzled scientists for years. There is some evidence that suggests the RH-negative blood group may have appeared about 35,000 years ago. And the appearance was regional and seemed to, originally, be connected with certain groups/tribes of people. Northern Spain and Southern France is where you can find some of the highest concentration of the RH-negative factor in the Basque people. Another original group were the Eastern/Oriental Jews. In general, about 40 – 45% of Europeans have the RH-negative group. Only about 3% of African descendent and about 1% of Asian or Native American descendent has the RH-negative group. Due to the larger European numbers, it is a safe bet that was where it was introduced into the human genetic code. This would lend credence that the RH-negative factor was introduced from an outside source. Could the source be from human like beings from another planet?

tumblr_nmbbcasxfm1rrweqzo1_500

Of course this is just a pretty weird theory, but as I’m in that 15% I find this topic very interesting. I WANT TO BELIEVE!

Please let me know your opinions in the comment section as I’d love to know what you think!

Elle. x

Life after Death

Let’s face it, sooner or later we are all going to die. It is a very sad argument but the truth is that every breath you take brings you one closer to your last. Whether you believe in a spiritual afterlife, your body is what remains. Now, as we all know there are just a couple of ways to dispose of a dead body: being buried or being burned, both not very eco-friendly. But, living in an era where (almost) everything is possible, there are new “frontiers” to explore in this field.

I’ve recently found out two interesting projects which can bring your dead body back to life (sort of.)

The first one is an italian project called Capsula Mundi and is basically an egg-shaped pod made of biodegradable material, where our departed loved ones are placed for burial. Ashes will be held in small Capsulas while bodies will be laid down in a fetal position in larger pods. The pod will then be buried as a seed in the earth. A tree, chosen in life by the deceased, will be planted on top of it and serve as a memorial for the departed and as a legacy for posterity and the future of our planet.

1006137_431626693611078_330488608_n

Personally, I really hope that this project can become a reality as I find it absolutely beautiful, being “remembered” in a sort of enchanted forest more than a sad and cold cemetery.

You can learn more about this project by clicking –HERE

The second one is called Infinity Burial Suit, a body suit you wear after death. The makers say that it “cleanses the body of toxins before returning it to nature,” and the human body is full of toxins. This garment has a built in bio mix ­ which is made up of two different types of mushrooms and other microorganisms that together do three things; aid in decomposition, work to neutralize toxins found in the body and transfer nutrients to plant life.


Click –HERE– if you want to discover more about this project.

These stunning projects changed my point of view on Death, thinking about it as a new “beginning”, a journey through the barriers of the animal, the mineral and the vegetable kingdom.

Elle. x

Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

The “Crime Scene” is a place of intense activity where every element, however large or small, must be preserved as potential evidence.

Police teams work closely alongside an extensive network of forensic professionals under the direction of a Crime Scene Manager, drawing on a wide variety of expertise (including photography, entomology, bloodstain analysis and pathology) to scan the scene and retrieve important clues. Every fragment of evidence is individually recorded, packaged and sealed before undergoing the rigours of scientific testing.

Continue reading

Mould juice…on the rocks!

When Alexander Fleming was born, antibiotics did not exist. Minor infections often proved fatal and a quarter of all hospital patients died of gangrene after surgery.

alexander-fleming-penicillin-631__800x600_q85_crop

4523871257_a62ba0823d_b

When Fleming enrolled as a medical student at St Mary’s in 1900 he dreamed of becoming a surgeon, but luckily for us, he was given a temporary position in the Inoculation Department, where he remained until his death.

One day in 1922, Fleming was hunched over his bacteria cultures as usual, despite suffering from a nasty cold. A drop of snot landed on his Petri dish, which led to his discovery of the antiseptic properties of mucus, saliva and tears. In September 1928, Alexander Fleming made another discovery that changed the course of medical history, when one of his cultures was contaminated with mould from a lab downstairs, Fleming hit on the healing properties of fungus, and effectively invented penicillin.

muffa1-800x400

Fleming’s assistant Stuart Craddock ate some of this “mould juice” to prove that it was not poisonous, Craddock claimed that it tasted like Stilton, prompting a flurry of sensational headlines about mouldy cheese being a miracle cure for disease.

 Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum

St Mary’s Hospital, Praed Street, W2

London

Optography

For hundreds of years, people had wondered whether it might be possible to capture an image of our last vision at the point of death, such idea  was a frequent plot device in fiction during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to the extent that police photographed the victims’ eyes in several real-life murder investigations, in case the theory was true. The idea behind optography dates back to the 17th century when a friar named Christopher Schiener noticed a strange image in the eye of a dead frog.

It wasn’t until the invention of photography in the 1840s, however, that “optography” emerged as a scientific pursuit. The German physiologist Wilhelm Kühne began preserving eyeballs and believed that eye worked like a camera, and that a certain chemical found in the retina could cause a reaction similar to that of a photographic negative. His most successful optogram was obtained from an albino rabbit, with its head fastened to face a barred window. The rabbit’s head was covered for several minutes to allow rhodopsin to accumulate on the retina. It was then uncovered for three minutes to expose it to the light, then decapitated and its eyeball sliced from top to bottom. The rear half of the eye was placed in an alum solution to enable fixation of the bleached rhodopsin, which resulted in a distinct image of the barred windows.

optography-and-optograms

Kühne was satisfied with the results and wanted to try his experiment on a human subject next. His opportunity arose in 1880, when a man named Erhard Gustav Reif was sentenced to death by guillotine after drowning his two young sons in the river.  Kühne immediately retrieved the murderer’s decapitated head, removed the eyeballs, and reported seeing “violent and disturbing movements” on the dead man’s retina. The ambiguity of these images was attributed to the fact that the prisoner was blindfolded at the moment of his death.

Jules Verne even wrote about it in a novel called Les Frères Kip. The practice’s potential freaked out murderers of the day, causing some to destroy their victims’ eyes for fear of being caught in the retinal frame.

desktop-1442253068

Other similar experiments were carried out in the 1880s and 1890s. It was even suggested that an optogram should be produced from the eye of Mary Jane Kelly, one of Jack the Ripper’s victims. Ripperologist James Stewart-Gordon believed the technique was attempted on Annie Chapman as well. A rare case of forensic optography being admitted as evidence occurred in late 1924, after German merchant Fritz Angerstein had been charged with killing eight members of his family and household staff. Professor Doehne of the University of Cologne photographed the retinas of two of the victims, yielding what he claimed were images of Angerstein’s face and an axe used to kill the gardener. Angerstein was tried, convicted and executed, with Doehne’s optographic images included amongst other evidence in the case.

The last serious scientific attempt at retrieving images from retinas took place in 1975 when police in Heidelberg, Germany, invited the physiologist Evangelos Alexandridis to repeat Kuhne’s experiments. Like Kühne, Alexandridis successfully produced a number of distinct high-contrast images from the eyes of rabbits, but conclusively negatively assessed the technique as a forensic tool. The retinal images were then photographed, some of which can be seen below from the Museum of Optography.

original

 

 

Body Farm

As you might know I’m attending a Forensic Science course and, honestly, this experience is becoming the most interesting experience in my life. I’m learning a lot and recently I discovered a weird side of this subject: BODY FARM!

I’ve always thought about body farms as something you can only see in a horror movie, an extended field all disseminated by body parts and decomposed bodies. I know, this is not a pleasant scene.

The term Body Farm indicates a ground on which are deposited various corpses for scientific observation. Inaccessible to the public who is not involved with the study of this topic, this place offers the opportunity to study the decomposition process in the most diverse conditions. The bodies object of the studies are provided from people who donate their bodies for science and medical research.

Continue reading