Tuesday, 1 May 2012

May Monster Madness: The Wellcome Collection

From May 1st - 7th we're taking part in the May Monster Madness blog hop! It's kindly being organised by Annie Walls, and the goal is to post about something spooky or monster-related every day for seven days. Obviously, that's what we always post about here, but the event is open to bloggers of all genres too!

I'm a little monstered-out today (shocking, I know!), so for the first post I'm going to share some of the spooky and strange exhibits on show at the Wellcome Collection in London! It's a museum filled with tons of unusual and fascinating items relating to medicine over the ages. I hadn't heard of until last year when Kei, of Unfortunately Oh!, suggested we should visit it during a trip to London. It's such an intriguing place and many of the exhibits are interactive, providing yet another layer of interest.

There's much more than just creepy crawlies and oddities - artificial limbs, paintings, glass eyes, masks, folk art, mirror etchings, a table full of all the pills a person takes in their life, exhibits about the human genome and DNA, figurines, torture devices and so much more! They also have temporary exhibits that change every few months as well. However, since this is for May Monster Madness, I'll leave out the other photos this time.) Oh, and did I mention that it's totally free to get in?

The above exhibit was a little larger than life-size (the transparent figure in the background was a cross-section of a real human body) and when you press the buttons on the podium, the part of the body listed next to them lights up on the model. We noticed that compared to all the other parts of anatomy, the brain was not very bright!

There were also a few blocks of shelves filled with anatomical models of assorted human body parts nearby as well (pictured above). 

The above wonderful pair were in one of the displays in the 'End of Life' section of the 'Medicine Man' area. As was the gorgeously intricate sculpture made out of wax and cloth:

And these Egyptian canopic jars (jars used to house the internal organs of the dead being prepared for mummification):

In a different area of the same room there was a Peruvian mummy. There was a drawer you could pull out underneath, with a cast of his hand inside, which you could touch. It was pretty strange really.

Those of you out there among the zombie population might also be pleased to know that they currently have an exhibit running (29th March - 17th June, 2012) called 'Brains: The Mind as Matter'.

"Our major new free exhibition seeks to explore what humans have done to brains in the name of medical intervention, scientific enquiry, cultural meaning and technological change. 
Featuring over 150 artefacts including real brains, artworks, manuscripts, artefacts, videos  and photography, 'Brains' follows the long quest to manipulate and decipher the most unique and mysterious of human organs, whose secrets continue to confound and inspire. 
'Brains' asks not what brains do to us, but what we have done to brains, focusing on the bodily presence of the organ rather than investigating the neuroscience of the mind."
Personally, I would love to see that one too! For now, however, I'll leave you with...the torture chair...

Looks comfy, eh? o.O;

This post is part of the May Monster Madness blog hop!


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