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The Hunterian Museum

Home > London > Free | Animals and Wildlife | Galleries | Museums
by Nelson (subscribe)
Nelson Moura fought is way of his own mediocrity to become a respected journalist and social media guru. Or so he thinks. Born in Porto, Portugal in 1990 he decided to steer is chaotic writing towards journalism. Contact me if you need a review
Published July 17th 2012
No croc wants to end like this

Hidden near the Lincoln's Inn Fields park in The Royal College of Surgeons is a quirky collection of horrors called the Hunterian Museum. Thousands of anatomic specimens, medical curiosities, instruments and more dissected animals than in a serial killer basement; all at the free display of any courageous and not easily impressed visitor.

John Hunter was a Scottish surgeon, one of the most distinguished of the 18th Century. He spent most of his life collecting and buying the biggest number of medical and anatomical items from all over the world. He believed in the knowledge by careful examination and study of the human and animal body.

He gathered more than 14,000 preparations of 500 species of animals which in 1799 became the Hunterian collection in The College of Surgeons, of which survived many changes and incidents like a 1941 Nazi bombing.

Highlights include the seven and a half foot skeleton of Irish giant
Charles Byrne; the frozen footh of a Mammoth - an array of human fetus from the 1st to the last month of gestation. Other prominent items include Winston Churchill's teeth and thousands and thousands of dissected animals and preserved failed organs.

There's a strange beauty in the preserved and peaceful animal specimens, exposing their most inner nature secrets and design. Bone structures, organ systems, their eyes, ears and skin exposed as every part of their body in amazing fashion.

A lizard with four legs, unique and strange elephant tusks, dissected pregnant kangaroos brought by Cook's exposition. It's a morbid but impressive homage to the curiosity and determination to learn about the world's mysteries from the first medical scientists.

Here's our relation with our own body, exposed more honestly than in an art nude exhibition. Our bones ridden with arthritis, kidney stones, brains corroded by Alzheimer's, and the first attempts to avoid our own mortality.

There's also the first successful tumour operations, and the initial attempts to give back the dignity to maimed and disfigured war veterans and of heart surgery.

When you at last leave the Hunterian you may feel a little less special and important and definitely not hungry.

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