Stunning Floral Porcelain Skulls
French artist NooN has teamed up with K. Olin tribu to create a pair of beautiful porcelain skulls imprinted with flowers. The black series is entitled Fleurs Noires and the red is Fleurs Rouges.
Underground Vietnam Military Patches
These patches were not sanctioned and approved by the United States Army. Handmade patches for soldiers began during the Vietnam era. Some soldiers wanted unique patches to represent significant events in a soldiers tour — an unrecognized battle, a particular subgroup or unofficial unit. These patches were worn secretly, on the inside of hats or the inside of shirts. They were secretly flashed to other members of the group or unit, but these patches were basically a private affair. In fact images of skulls on patches or insignias were officially forbidden by the military.
- Skull of Richard III - Recently discovered with his entire skeleton.
- The Lovers - These two skeletons, discovered in 1972 at Hasanlu in Iran, were nicknamed the Lovers for the affectionate pose they were found in.
- Possible bones of Mona Lisa - The skeleton that woman historians believe was Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous muse, Lisa Gherardin.
- The Elephant Man - Joseph Carey Merrick, born in 1862, never suffered from elephantiasis, but he believed his mother had been frightened by an elephant, causing the bulging tumors that sprouted from his face and eventually reached a circumference of three feet.
- Mesopotamian Human Sacrifice - skulls discovered at the royal cemetery at Ur in Iraq. Around 2,000 burials were recovered, attesting to the practice of human sacrifice on a large scale.
- Skull of pianist André Tchaikowsky - before his death, he donated his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company to be used in the play Hamlet as Yorick’s skull.
Capuchin Catacombs - Palermo, Italy
In 1599, Capuchin monks discovered that their catacombs contained a mysterious preservative that helped mummify the dead. As a result, more than 8,000 Sicilians from all walks of life chose to be buried here. The corpses range in date from the late 1500s to 1920 and most were embalmed before their display.
In the 1940s Allied bombs hit the monastery, destroying many of the mummies. The Capuchin Monastery (Convento dei Cappuccini) itself was rebuilt over the remains of the original medieval church in 1623 and was once again restored in the early 20th century.
Amazing X-Rays of Accidents That People Survived
X-ray 1 - Pruning Shears
In this image provided by the University Medical Center in Tucson, a CT scan shows a pair of pruning shears embedded in the head of an 86-year-old Green Valley, Ariz., man before it was removed by Medical Center surgeons in Tucson on July 30, 2011. Leroy Luetscher was accidentally impaled through his eye socket after falling on the shears while working in his yard, the handle penetrating his eye socket and reaching down into his neck. He is expected to make a full recovery. (AP Photo/University Medical Center,Tucson, Arizona)
X-ray 2 - Knife in Face
(Source: The Huffington Post)
Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of more than 150 skulls from an ancient shrine near Mexico City this month—evidence of one of the largest mass sacrifices of humans.
The rituals included sacrifices to the rain gods as power struggles gripped the parched region suffering from a severe drought. The victims were first killed and dismembered. The body parts may then have been thrown into the lake, while the heads were carefully arranged and buried. Incense was burned during this ceremony and foods such as ritually burned maize were presented as additional offerings.
(Source: National Geographic)
Sokushinbutsu - The Bizarre Practice of Self-Mummification
Scattered throughout Northern Japan around the Yamagata Prefecture are two dozen mummified Japanese monks known as Sokushinbutsu, who caused their own deaths by way of self-mummification. A successful mummification took upwards of ten years. It is believed that many hundreds of monks tried, but only about 20 such mummifications have been discovered to date.
The elaborate process started with three years of eating a special diet consisting only of nuts and seeds, while taking part in a regimen of rigorous physical activity that stripped them of their body fat. They then ate only bark and roots for another three years and began drinking a poisonous tea made from the sap of the Urushi tree, normally used to lacquer bowls.
This caused vomiting and a rapid loss of bodily fluids, and most importantly, it made the body too poisonous to be eaten by maggots. Finally, a self-mummifying monk would lock himself in a stone tomb barely larger than his body, where he would not move from the lotus position. His only connection to the outside world was an air tube and a bell. Each day he rang a bell to let those outside know that he was still alive.
When the bell stopped ringing, the tube was removed and the tomb sealed. After the tomb was sealed, the other monks in the temple would wait another three years, and open the tomb to see if the mummification was successful. If the monk had been successfully mummified, they were immediately seen as a Buddha and put in the temple for viewing. Usually, though, there was just a decomposed body.
Graphic Medical Oddities and Preserved Human Specimens
The Siriraj Medical Museum in Bangkok,Thailand abounds with medical curiosities. The Siriraj is actually comprised of six different museums: a museum of pathology, a forensics museum, a museum of the history of Thai medicine, a parasitology museum, an anatomical museum, and a prehistoric museum.
The Siriraj’s incredible holdings include: Bones, preserved organs, pathological fetuses, the mummified corpse of a notorious serial killer, a traditional Thai medicine shop, parasitic worms, a two-and-a-half-foot-wide scrotum removed from a man afflicted with elephantiasis, rows of skulls, the standing wax-filled remains of a cannibal, a delicately dissected nervous system, and the skeleton of the museum’s founder.
The Twelve Saints
“Taken from the catacombs of Rome in the 17th century, the relics of twelve martyred saints were then attired in the regalia of the period before being interred in a remote church on the German/Czech border.” - Immortal, Toby de Silva