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remains2beseen remains2beseen

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Carla Valentine  🇬🇧The Chick & the Dead Pathology Technician & Anatomist. MA in Human Remains Display. Author of Past Mortems/The Chick and the Dead Buy my book ⤵

These are the two 'anatomical machines' in the Capella Sansevero in Naples, Italy (and I've seen these in the flesh, so to speak, when I was in Naples. Such a great place; AMAZING pizza!) The two skeletons, one male and one female, are known as machines although they don't actually move. It's just that their bones and vessels have been preserved so well and they have additions - like the eyeballs - so they're a bit more 'machine' than man. The female is pregnant and there was also a foetus on display but it was stolen.
This Adam and Eve are both in glass cases which state they were made by Giuseppe Salerno in around 1764 and even after all these years historians don't know exactly how the vessels were preserved. It's thought that mercury was included in the injected substance which then hardened (as that was common in corrosion casts at the time) and the metallic element may be why they are called 'machines'. However another theory is that they’re real skeletons wrapped in beeswax, iron wire, and silk. Either way they are astounding to look at.
#remains2beseen #anatomy #pathology 
#specimen #conservation #medicalmuseum #pathologymuseum 
#anatomymuseum #histmed #conservator #naples #anatomicalmachines #fbf #flashbackfriday #napoli

According to my archives: Anti-aircraft Shell, 6.5 ins long and 1.3 ins wide (1933). Removed from the rectum of a member of the Air Force, aged 40. For many years he had suffered from 'piles' (haemorrhoids) which tended to prolapse, i.e. drop down... He was in the habit of pushing them back in with the anti-aircraft shell shown here, and on all previous occasions his attempts had been a success. On the day before admission (into hospital) he inserted the shell into his rectum, but found that after the piles had been replaced he was unable to withdraw the shell. On admission, the case of the shell could just be felt 4 inches up from the anal orifice. Removal was effected under anaesthesia after dilating the sphincter.
PLEASE don't try this at home!
#pathology #pathologymuseum #rectum #mishaps #donttrythisathome

This is an amazing image I came across initially via the Twitter account of the Vrolik Museum, Amsterdam (@MuseumVrolik). It wasn't just a random post - this is their Twitter profile pic. I find this image in no way offensive - in fact witnessing the miracle of life forming in such a delicate amniotic sac is overwhelmingly beautiful. However they are based in the Netherlands, and here in the UK images such as this are seen as incredibly contentious and offensive, mainly due to the Organ Retention Scandal of the late 1990s. Funny world we live in that deems the miracle of life and female nipples offensive... Check out their page www.amc.nl for more information about their specimens and visiting hours etc. It’s one of the only ones I’ve yet to visit but it's on my bucket list.
#humanremains #remains2beseen #foetuses #wetspecimen #anatomy #vrolikmuseum #vrolik #amsterdam #organretention #anatomymuseum

CAUTION ⚠ The Girl Who Gouged Out Her Own Eyes: I heard about this story a few days ago and have been waiting a bit to post it because - if I'm being honest - it affected me quite deeply. I even dreamed about it last night and my husband told me this morning I had been praying in my sleep. So for everyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, here it is: In February of this year 20 year old Kaylee Muthart, in a methamphetamine induced psychosis, gouged out her own eyes in front of a church in South Carolina. I think if you read some of the stories which say she literally had her eyeballs in her hands, when the pastor and some locals found her on knees, and read her own words on the topic you'll see what's quite disturbing - even to someone who has a strong stomach like me. She said “I proceeded to pull out my eyes with my bare hands and twisted them, and pulled them, and popped them,” she says. “I told the pastor who showed up, ‘Pray for me, I want to see the light, pray for me.’ ” Now this is where it gets interesting. She's been in hospital and rehab for a month, adjusting to her new life as a blind woman and she says "Life is more beautiful now". And now that's she's finally sober she explained the reason she did it, and why it was in front of a church. “I thought everyone who had died was stuck in their graves, that God was up in Heaven alone, and that I had to sacrifice something important to be able to release everyone in the world to God...It was scary, I didn’t understand what God wanted of me, but it made me feel a sense of righteousness that I had to be the one to do it,” she recalls. “And I was glad to do it because I’ve always had a big heart and nobody’s ever giving me that love back.” As Kaylee walked closer to the church she felt time was running out to save the world, she made her sacrifice. Author of The Blessed Trilogy @tonyahurley put it well on Twitter when she said the girl was 'like a modern version of St Lucy' who I've shown here with her eyes on a plate; the way she is often depicted (swipe for an image of the lovely Kaylee before the incident and a picture of some of Tonya's gorgeous books illustrated by @natalieshau) #sacredsunday

I need to go back to Vienna and see this: The Tödlein-Schrein (Shrine of Little Death) from 1580 demonstrates the interest in human anatomy that grew during the Renaissance. It contains an accurately worked skeleton executed after the depictions in Andreas Vesalius’ influential work of anatomy De Humani Corporis Fabrica. (Before Vesalius, it was the Roman anatomist Galen who held authority over anatomy, despite the fact he'd never actually fully dissected a human and instead applied his animal dissection knowledge to our bodies. He was well-liked and declared himself an expert so no-one questioned him for about 1000 years. When you think about it, he's the ancient world's equivalent to modern day internet "experts"). The shrine presents a mixture of various vanitas motifs symbolizing the transience of earthly life: for example an hour-glass or a mirror - the mirror specifically added to show the reflection of whoever is viewing the piece, declaring that they TOO will be dead one day.
#skeleton #anatomy #mementomori #vesalius #galen

When life hands you lemons....
#funeralmarch #coffinballpit #casket #casketballpit #whenlifehandsyoulemons

Let's talk Cancer: Last night we had the greatest time with our first 'Funeral March' event and our coffin ball pit, inspired by the cancer based TV show 'Chasing Life' from 2014. Who remembers that show?! Oddly though, there was a strange article from 2014 called "Why the Chasing Life poster is making us angry" and I'm not sure why - I love a pun though so I like "Cancer Sucks" and I like the image with all the lemons; and I know others have been inspired by it too. I'll post it next https://www.beamly.com/tv-film/chasing-life 
One of the great things about the coffin is that it opens up a dialogue even with staff who are coming into the museum cleaning or arranging furniture, not just attendees to the events. At the moment, our curator is dying of cancer and I just heard from her today - first time in a long time - which was a lovely start to the morning. We don't know how long she has left, and its scary but then again that's true for all of us. She's a real inspiration and reading her reference for me brought me to tears. Live right, enjoy each moment, forget the pettiness.
#funeralmarch #sayballstodeath #coffin #coffinballpit #museum #chasinglife

A picture of my latex clad hand as I had just begun the autopsy of our US donor for the BBC show "Obesity: The Post Mortem". You can see the initial incision hasn't gone right through but the adipose tissue is visible. This documentary is now on in full on Netflix US and Netflix Canada. Its educational and not exploitative and it's extremely important when you consider obesity is now the second largest cause of cancer in the developed world.
#humanremains #autopsy #postmortem #education #documentary #obesity #obesitythepostmortem #anatomy #pathology #health #netflixus #netflixcanada #netflix #bbc2 #bbc3

From my personal @carlavalentineuk account: It took me a very, very, VERY long time to be comfortable enough to talk about my Parry Romberg Syndrome in public, but since the start of Instagram it's been incredibly rewarding to accept it and share it with others out there, either to help those who have it or raise awareness of it. It's a rare condition and it's made up of two major issues: neurological and cutaneous. The cutaneous aspect means it causes assymetry in facial tissues. That's startling enough when it begins because it doesn't present until you're in your teens. However the NEUROLOGICAL aspects....don't get me started: migraine, TIA, seizures, strokes and mental illness are all one big cluster f**k. Thank God then, for people like Rachel at @rdaesthetics in Liverpool who is on the journey with me now. As many of you know, the invasive surgeries I've had caused more problems than they solved and the last on in Aug 2016 nearly killed me. Now, I'm experimenting with tried and tested, reliable, less invasive procedures, like Juvederm injections, and getting some great results. I can't thank Rachel enough for helping me to feel a bit more "normal"! Xx 💋
#lipaugmentation #liverpool #rdaesthetics #lipinjections #parryrombergsyndrome

An image from when I visited the incredible Sedlec Ossuary just outside Prague in the Czech Republic, for my birthday a few years ago with @jonnyquietly. It's a cross made of skeletons (posted for Easter ✝)
#remains2beseen #bones #bone #humanremains #skulls #skull
#ossuary #charnelhouse #sedlec #kostnice #prague #easter #easter2018 #bonecross #crossofbones #lent

A while ago I posted about the missing skull of Haydn and now you can even hear me talk about it on the brand new @classicfm podcast called "Case Notes" (go to www.classicfm.com). I also talk about how to remove flesh from bone, the Resurrection Men or bodysnatchers, phrenology and decomposition. You'll love it 💀🎶
#humanremains #composer #missingskull #twoskulls #decapitation #decapitated #phrenology #haydn #classicfm #classicalmusic #decomposition #bodysnatching

Two images of a crucified plastinate created from human bone and blood vessels, by Gunther von Hagens for a Channel 4 documentary in 2012. Although many consider his work controversial and obviously some thought this was quite heretical, he insists that this work is not meant to be blasphemous but a true expression of his Christian values. I remember watching the documentary at the time and during filming I think he’d discovered he was terminally ill with Parkinson’s Disease and you could see his whole attitude of showmanship become very humble and reverent. It’s ironic he has discovered a way to preserve human flesh for posterity – they’ll “live forever”, as it were – but he is dying. He says after his death he WILL be made into a plastinate and put on display as part of Bodyworlds.
#humanremains #plastinate
#remains2beseen #crucify #crucifix #crucifixion #plastination #lentloophole #gunthervonhagens #vonhagens #bodyworlds #lent #crucified

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