Where can a girl go to see some fetuses in jars?
November 16, 2010 2:14 PM   Subscribe

Where can I go to see fetuses in jars? I really like seeing fetuses in jars. I find them fascinating. I have seen the ones at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and also some fantastic deformed fetuses at the anatomy lab at my university. I want to see more fetuses in jars! All kinds of fetuses! What are some other places where I can go to see fetuses in jars? I do a bit of traveling so even places outside of the US would great too. Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Science & Nature (31 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
Mutter Museum in Philly.
posted by gaspode at 2:16 PM on November 16, 2010 [18 favorites]


As a child I had nightmares concerning the various developing fetuses at Columbus, Ohio Cosi, only to have those nightmares renewed almost twenty years later when I returned there to find them still suspended in their creepy, creepy state.

Also, the Bodies Exhibit had an entire room of weird fetuses.
posted by banannafish at 2:17 PM on November 16, 2010


Morbid Anatomy (http://morbidanatomy.blogspot.com) has a list of museums all over the world that have displays like this. Check the sidebar.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 2:21 PM on November 16, 2010


Not sure if you can see human fetuses, but the Darwin Centre in London has a "spirits tour" where you can see all the pickled specimens they have cataloged.

Also for movies, check out Lars von Trier's "The Kingdom", where a pickled fetus is one of the major characters.
posted by benzenedream at 2:23 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


The first person that came to my mind that has a similar interest in medical oddities is Prof Mundie - he's visited and photographed many anatomy museums that exhibit jarred fetuses, so I'd recommend perusing his flickr sets for examples of the European collections and museums available (some may or may not be private collections that he had special access to, can't quite remember, this is not an expertise of mine). One of his sets is of the Mutter Museum aka College of Physicians of Philadelphia, which is open to the public.
posted by saturnine at 2:31 PM on November 16, 2010


Harvard College's Medical History Museum (near Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, MA) has fetuses in jars.
posted by sonika at 2:32 PM on November 16, 2010


(Sorry, Harvard University. Gah. My brain may or may not be operating from a jar.)
posted by sonika at 2:32 PM on November 16, 2010


Bodyworlds had some at least when I went years ago.
posted by slow graffiti at 2:34 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seconding the Mutter Museum in Philly. They also have a spring sleep-over for members.
posted by The White Hat at 2:38 PM on November 16, 2010


Oh man, if you go to St. Petersburg, Russia, and I recommend you do, you are in for a treat. There is almost an entire room full of all sorts of fetuses in jars to suit every possible stripe of jarred abnormal fetus interest at Peter the Great's Kunstkammer, a museum of curiosities. I didn't count how many jars (half a very large room full?), but it was a number and quality sufficient to put my travel companion in the stairwell with her head between her knees. Peter the Great was also an amateur dentist, so his tools and extractions are also there, along with a few floors of equally random weirdness.
posted by *s at 2:45 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Museum of Forensic Medicine, Bangkok Thailand.

"Perhaps the most moving of the exhibits is the collection of dozens of babies – some conjoined, some stillborn, others with various tragic deformities. Local visitors have left touching little gifts for many of them. The Cyclops baby, for example, has some pink plastic soldiers, a half-eaten packet of Clorets and a single Pringle."

posted by AnnaRat at 2:45 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Musée Dupuytren in Paris is truly impressive.
posted by xqwzts at 2:46 PM on November 16, 2010


The Berlin Medizinhistorisches Museum is supposed to be ace at this sort of thing.
posted by runincircles at 2:50 PM on November 16, 2010


It's not physical fetuses in jars, but this giant blog post on the history of childbirth through the ages might be up your alley. I found it equal parts frightening and interesting.
posted by mathowie at 3:00 PM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Google "pickled punks". Two-headed cows! Monstrosities! Sideshow weirdness!

(In a hurry and on my phone, please excuse lack of linkage.)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:11 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


National Museum of Health and Medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC.
posted by djb at 3:17 PM on November 16, 2010


Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, OR has fetuses in jars displayed at various stages of development.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:20 PM on November 16, 2010


There are some at the War Remnant's Museum in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City.
posted by backwards guitar at 3:34 PM on November 16, 2010


On the seventh floor of the UCLA health sciences building there is (or at least still was there last year) a dusty display case outside of the gross anatomy labs full of such specimens. I don't recall any of them being deformed, though.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 3:46 PM on November 16, 2010


Shattuck Hall at Mount Holyoke College used to have some fabulous fetuses in jars just randomly lining the hallways. (Second floor? Third?) I hope they are still there.
posted by onepot at 4:20 PM on November 16, 2010


OMG, onepot, I go to Mount Holyoke and had no idea. I will check this out tomorrow before class and report back.
posted by missmary6 at 4:43 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


[few comments removed - this is not the place for your George Bush jokes.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:15 PM on November 16, 2010


I second the Kunstkamera if you find yourself in St. Petersburg. It has exactly what you're looking for (and more!).

The Surgeons' Hall Museum in Edinburgh also has a collection of fetus skeletons in the pathology section (which is full of diseased and deformed body parts in jars!).
posted by Bukvoed at 7:21 PM on November 16, 2010


If my memory serves me correctly, I do believe the Hunterian Museum in London has some fetuses in jars.
posted by hip_plumber at 7:25 PM on November 16, 2010


This museum in Lyon, France has deformed fetuses in jars. If you click on "Visite virtuelle," then hover over "embryologie," you can see an example of a two-headed child who was obviously fairly far along in development. The text translates to: "Before his birth, the little man already has a life... Major malformations, called 'monstrosities' by the ancients, help develop science's understanding of normal development."

It is a rather small museum attached to a hospital-university complex, and accessible by metro.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:56 PM on November 16, 2010


I'm back to say it on the record - there's a display case with fetuses in various stages of development in the hallway of the science building at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. They're just hanging outside a classroom. Awesome.
posted by missmary6 at 8:43 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seconding the Hunterian Museum - fetuses of all shapes, sizes and species. Not to mention feet covered in smallpox, the skeleton of the Irish Giant, Winston Churchill's dentures... I'm pretty sure you will love the whole museum.
posted by Weng at 10:04 AM on November 17, 2010


there are very few human examples in the Hunterian but bucketloads of various animal examples at different stages of development and iI would second Weng, t is a beautiful museum to visit!
posted by Wilder at 2:39 AM on November 18, 2010


The Berlin Medizinhistorisches Museum is supposed to be ace at this sort of thing.

I have been there and confirm the fetuses in jars. And a whole bunch of other weird and fascinating stuff. Pretty impressive place, actually.
posted by kisch mokusch at 9:46 PM on November 19, 2010


The national museum of health and medicine which is located in the Walter Reed military hospital in D.C., is a free museum that has the largest collection of preserved fetuses at different stages of development that I have ever seen. This collection is managed by Human Developmental Anatomy Center .

The museum also has some cool stuff like the bullet that killed Lincoln and the blood stained sleeves of the surgeon who worked on him, as well as a lot of information of the history of battlefield medicine.
posted by vegetableagony at 12:26 PM on November 21, 2010


The national museum of health and medicine which is located in the Walter Reed military hospital in D.C.

I have been to this, it is terrific. Here is a photo of some fetal/child skeletons from there that you might enjoy.
posted by jessamyn at 2:16 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


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