An Owl's 2 hoots

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Price on the head

Warning: this post may not be suitable for all.

Literally, a price on the head - at least, the skull!

I am not sure if it is still legal (not even sure if it was ever), but when my brother was starting his dental studies, he wanted a human skull for understanding better the facial and jaw bone mechanism.

So, me and my dad went to MMC to buy a human skull. We knew someone who knew someone else (probably in the mortuary!) who brought the skull in a cardboard box (Nippo cooker box I think). It was several years ago but I think we paid some 150 Rs and some more for the guy who brought it. Now, if you have observed a human skeleton in the zoology lab, you would see that the whole skeleton is mounted on a frame, with wires supporting the rib cage, foot, etc. Now, that is fine if the skeleton is not going to be moved around. For a separate skull, on the other hand, there is no such support. In the absence of the actual flesh, the mandible (lower jaw) is loose and will be separated from the skull. So, the guy who brought the skull was not sure which lower jaw used to fit this skull, and so he brought two! Yedhaavadhu onnu fit aagum saar! At that time, I was also interested in medicine, so I used to observe my brother fiddle with it and sometimes I myself would check it out. Kind of strange to have someone's head around the house! I think we still do have it in the attic.

Anyway, the reason for this post is an ad which I saw at my workplace - "Human skull for sale" - with a spring mechanism for the lower jaw, so that it does not topple out. The cost? not much, $2000.

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