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Preserved Body Parts of Historical Figures


When you're gone you're gone. Unless some creepy S.O.B lops you into chunks and chucks and handful into formaldehyde. As was done with these famous faces...

Einstein's Brain

When AlbertEinstein (pictured) died in 1955, his brain was removed without his family’s permission by Princeton Hospital pathologist, Thomas Stoltz Harvey. It’s a move that these days would result in a $500bn lawsuit, but which — back then — was swiftly dealt with by Harveypromising to have the brain examined. Over the next 40 years, it was examined once, despite being cut up, with bits sent to scientists around the globe.

Galileo's Finger

The finger of Galileo Galilei, the ‘father of modern science’, was removed in 1737 and placed on display at the Museo di Storia del Scienza in Italy. Given Galileo spent the final years of his life under house arrest because of his belief that the Earth went around the sun, perhaps it’s no surprise it was his middle finger.

Hitler's Penis

When Vasily Zudropov passed on the family jewels to his son Ivan he did so in more than one sense – he gave him Hitler’s mummified penis. Vasily claimed to have recovered the ‘party member’ when Russian soldiers tore the Nazi leader’s body apart. Other preserved penises of the famous include Napoleon Bonaparte and Grigori Rasputin.

Bentham's Head

At the age of 11, philosopher Jeremy Bentham claimed that he was driven to become a reformist by women’s legally inferior position in society. It’s the kind of thing most young men say when they’re trying to ‘get in there’ with young ladies. Perhaps the fact that his preserved head and skeleton were put on display at University College London shows he’s still hoping to reap the rewards.

Spallanzani's Bladder

Italian biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani was the man who proved that sexual reproduction in mammals requires a sperm and an ovum (makes you wonder how they managed before) and also the man who performed the first successful artificial insemination (it was on a dog). So, pretty obvious you shout “the dog ate it” and run away. You used the polling booth to try on clothes because the queue at the shop was a bit long. You chose who to vote for based on how many letters in the candidate’s name were also in your name. You came out of the booth and handed in your voting slip with a fiver and ‘Tiger Feat to win at 5-1’ written on it. which body part they preserved and put on display at the museum in Pavia, Italy, right? Yep, his bladder.

Washington's Hair

The easiest of George Washington’s body parts to preserve would’ve been his famous wooden teeth. Instead they opted for the second easiest — a lock of his hair. The snippet was taken at the request of poet Henry Longfellow’s aunt Eliza and later donated to the Maine Historical Society.

Buddha's Tooth

You have to take any ‘authentic’ religious artefact with a pinch of embalming fluid (there have been many ‘Jesus foreskins’ knocking around), but this tooth, apparently taken from the Buddha’s funeral pyre in India, is popular enough to have had a whole temple dedicated to it in Sri Lanka.



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