Help me find weird medical/human stuff!
February 12, 2013 7:51 AM   Subscribe

I like weird/creepy (but not "boo" scary!) stuff. Do you have that itch too? If so, help me scratch it! What are some good books or sites on the internet that I haven't seen with weird stuff?

I've always had an interest in abnormal things, aberrations, bizarre, just "weird" stuff. It's been going on for years. I don't believe in the paranormal or anything (ghosts, UFOs, ESP, etc) so I don't really mean that stuff. Fiction is totally ok. I tend to like unsettling/creepy stuff more than actually frightening/scary stuff, and I've had more luck with that in the written word or in museums than in videos/audio, but if you have any suggestions on that front, let me know!

What I like:
--Ripley's Believe it or Not (the books/museums, was less excited about the TV show)
--House on the Rock (my favorite place in the world)
--York/London Dungeon, or at least I did when I was there in 1995 (still pictures/descriptions of gore are OK though I'd prefer for that not to be a major focus of this)
--the SCP website (when I first found this, I REALLY wanted it to be real)
--Guinness records (specifically the ones about medical stuff, the chapter about "most children birthed" and lowest body temperature etc was always my favorite)
--Wikipedia's list of bizarre deaths
--There's a thread at SA right now about "Creepy Wikipedia articles" and a lot of it is serial killers and plane crashes but I really like that thread
--In high school, I don't remember the context of this but our science class went to the local university for a big lecture with slides on "things that can go wrong during pregnancy" (birth defects but also cell division problems, etc) and I probably thought that was more interesting than anyone else in the class did.
--I've always wanted to go to the Mutter Museum but don't live close to there and haven't found the justification to make the trip.
--I thought Bodyworks (and other Gunther van Hagens stuff) was pretty cool.

What I don't like:
--Things that jump out and go boo
--Being actively startled
--Videos/audio of gore/deaths

Re-reading this, my tastes seem to run more to human/medical stuff, which I wasn't consciously aware of but sure! What are some books/websites you think I might like, based on the above? The person who wrote this thread seems to have similar tastes to me although I don't live near Spain and I'd prefer stuff I can read about from home. :)
posted by agress to Grab Bag (36 answers total) 107 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There's a museum in Philadelphia that seems like it was made for you. (My wife just visited it this weekend and said it was amazing.)
posted by gauche at 7:55 AM on February 12, 2013 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Have you seen Atlas Obscura? They catalog all sorts of weird mansions, cemeteries, monuments, museums like the Mutter Museum, various decaying remains of buildings, weird private collections.

They've also started giving talks and tours in a few major cities in the US.
posted by kathryn at 7:56 AM on February 12, 2013 [4 favorites]

Best answer: The Mysterious Universe podcast is right up your alley (as it is mine.)
posted by griphus at 7:57 AM on February 12, 2013

Er, I misread your requirements, but you may like it anyway!
posted by griphus at 7:58 AM on February 12, 2013

Stepping into second the Mutter Museum -- if you are anywhere near Philly.

On looking at the link gauche provided, it appears they have some digital resources you can read.
posted by hrj at 8:03 AM on February 12, 2013

Best answer: I've always wanted to go to the Mutter Museum but don't live close to there and haven't found the justification to make the trip.

Come visit! Or, watch their Youtube Channel. I love the Mutter Museum, and I think they're particularly humane in how they present their collection--their skull collection specifically.

How about reading Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers?
posted by gladly at 8:05 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There are also a couple of books on the collection at the Mütter museum. I've been to that museum and can corroborate that it is fascinating/creepy.

Chicago has the International Museum of Surgical Science. Most of the exhibits are on the history of surgery, which is not much different from the history of carpentry, apparently.
posted by adamrice at 8:09 AM on February 12, 2013

Response by poster: Oh man, I clicked the "Atlas Obscura" "about" page and found this quote:


and my heart went "YES YES YES PLEASE YES"

This is so awesome, keep em coming! And yeah I need to go to the Mutter Museum... seems like an awful long trip for ONE MUSEUM but this is not a "tell me why I should go to Philadelphia" thread, so I'll figure that out in my own time. :)
posted by agress at 8:13 AM on February 12, 2013

Best answer: I'm into that same stuff though not as bothered by gore. I liked the IMSS and Roach's book. You might also enjoy the Fortean Times which has a some "woo woo aliens" to it which you might not care about but also sometimes natural and human oddity stuff. I also really enjoyed a local novel called The Unseen which deals with some humanoid sasquatchish folks. This thread also has some things you might find interesting.
posted by jessamyn at 8:15 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Morbid Anatomy Library
posted by moonmilk at 8:21 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Marble Hornets
posted by jbickers at 8:22 AM on February 12, 2013

Best answer: Kooks: a Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief is a great collection if you can locate a copy.
posted by Drastic at 8:22 AM on February 12, 2013

Only tangentially related, but I find pictures of underwater shipwrecks, particularly submarine wrecks, incredibly creepy. You might want to read up on the USS Thresher, USS Scorpion, K-141 Kursk, and other sub wrecks.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:24 AM on February 12, 2013

Best answer: Documenting Reality
Trauma Medical Emergency Site The soft white underbelly of the net, eviscerated for all to see
The Daily Beast medical oddities, etc
posted by JujuB at 8:27 AM on February 12, 2013

Best answer: I think you'd like this book: Panati's Extraordinary Endings of Practically Everything & Everybody. Looks like it's out of print now, but if you can get a used copy you can read about all kinds of bizarre, interesting, and/or morbid things.
posted by trillian at 8:34 AM on February 12, 2013

Best answer: The Wellcome Collection (London) also has a fantastic collection/website! And you should friend the Mutter on Facebook if you have one; they post lots of medical mysteries and photos. Actually, you might also like Powered by -- she's a bio archaeologist who highlights lots of bone-related tidbits from history along with more field-specific articles.
posted by jetlagaddict at 8:35 AM on February 12, 2013

Best answer: The soft white underbelly of the net, eviscerated for all to see

There's also the Rotten Library which was a hypertext library for the weird and horrible. There's still gruesome stuff there, but it's a lot easier to experience than the main site.
posted by griphus at 8:48 AM on February 12, 2013

Best answer: google "slenderman"
posted by sexyrobot at 9:11 AM on February 12, 2013

Best answer: I'm like this, too! If you're ever in London, the Hunterian Museum is amazing. I was lucky enough to visit it AND the Mutter in the space of about two weeks and was in heaven. I also highly recommend the film Wisconsin Death Trip and the book that it was based on. It's documentary-ish and essentially profiles a short but very bad span of time in turn of the century Wisconsin. It's wonderful.

And a few book recommendations:

Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine 1880-1930

The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases From a State Hospital Attic

Library of Dust
posted by Polyhymnia at 9:12 AM on February 12, 2013

Whoops sorry was on a phone-- Powered by Osteons.
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:20 AM on February 12, 2013
posted by thecolor12 at 10:12 AM on February 12, 2013

Best answer: It hasn't been updated in years (still uses frames!) but Ain't No Way to Go chronicles unusual deaths.
posted by TedW at 10:52 AM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I love BodyHorrors. It's all about infectious diseases. One entry that stands out is about a desert-dwelling tribe who let dogs, well, clean up....
posted by Solomon at 11:07 AM on February 12, 2013

Best answer: I've not seen anyone post a link to this thread yet (unless I missed it). Lots of good suggestions here.
posted by carrienation at 12:20 PM on February 12, 2013

Surgeon's Hall Museum, Edinburgh.
posted by penguin pie at 4:04 PM on February 12, 2013

Aww. Most of the good ones have already been mentioned, but here are a few more:

The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford; (use the Explore link or just do a Google image search for the goods.)

The Criminal Wisdom Web site has many interesting posts and is worth a look.

Cabinets of Curiosities should be relative to your interests, and Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology.

You might also search for some good urban exploration sites. Those are always good for a vicarious thrill or two, but my old sites on that topic have vanished and my Googlage fails at the moment.
posted by zueod at 8:24 PM on February 12, 2013

Check out the Popping sub-reddit. Lots of unique and interesting videos. The human body is an amazing thing.
posted by trialex at 2:39 AM on February 13, 2013

Hey zueod, thanks for the link to my blog.
posted by hoodrich at 9:57 AM on February 13, 2013

You might like - lots of weird human medical stuff!
posted by meggan at 11:15 PM on February 13, 2013

Sort of a side jaunt to your stated interests, but try the website on Diableries. The A and B sets can be viewed in larger sizes, and be sure to click on the "surprise" buttons.
posted by gudrun at 11:44 PM on February 13, 2013 for all your exploding cyst video needs.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:27 AM on February 15, 2013

The New England Journal of Medicine's Images in Clinical Medicine has some seriously intriguing pictures and videos each accompanied by a paragraph outlining the medical situation. This is stuff that even doctors find weird.
posted by bobobox at 7:56 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Human Mutants is a series and there is also a book. Both are amazing. Get ready to fall in love with Armand Marie Leroi.
posted by pick_the_flowers at 11:22 AM on May 21, 2013

You might also like "I shouldn't be alive" which is a series about people who survive crashes, getting lost in the rainforest without a guide, avalanches, etc. It's so good.
posted by pick_the_flowers at 11:27 AM on May 21, 2013

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