The Wonderful, Gross, Disgusting, Fascinating, Macabre Bangkok Forensic Museum

You shouldn’t read this post if you have a delicate stomach.

Really.

Click through with caution.

Caroline 100

Caroline 080

The Bangkok Forensic Museum consists of several rooms of human body parts in various jars, cabinets and display cases. It’s part of the much-larger Srirat Hospital Complex, and is clearly intended for medical students. There are desks scattered throughout, so you can really take your time observing, say, a flayed arm’s musculature or a slice of brain. Also, photos were not allowed, so I apologize for the quality of these shots. I couldn’t take  much time for fear of being caught.

This is a vertical slice of a human being, complete with visible spinal cord:

Caroline 076

For some reason this looks cheerful to me:

Caroline 081

Here’s a creepy cabinet:

Caroline 103

 

Caroline 091

Caroline 096

 

By far the largest part of the collection was Siamese, or conjoined, twins. I’m only including one pictures, although I took more, because it was just too sad. Most of the display cases with conjoined twins (primary fetuses or babies) had toys or candy set on them, like an offering in a cemetery:

Caroline 099

Conjoined twins were called Siamese twins because the first world-famous pair were from Siam (now Thailand).  Chang and Eng Bunker were joined at the liver by a four-inch-long piece of skin. Over time, it stretched to five-and-a-half inches.

While swimming in Bangkok canal, the twins were spotted by an American businessman, Robert Hunter. Robert Hunter essentially purchased the eighteen-year-old twins from their parents and took them on tour in the United States. For three years, the twins were only paid $10 a month, while earning $1,000 a month for the circus. When they turned 21, they were legally free. They continued touring on their own for about seven years, eventually settling in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, where they married two sisters.

For a few years, the two couples shared a house and a bed. Then, when tensions rose and that arrangement was no longer bearable, each twin bought a separate house for each wife. The brothers would spend three days at each house, during which the “host” brother could do as he pleased while the “guest” brother put up with it. Eng and Sally had nine children, while Chang and Addie had seven.

Chang liked to smoke and drink, and was in poor health. However, since they did not share a circulatory system, Eng was unaffected by Chang’s bad habits.

They died within hours of each other, Chang from a blood clot and Eng from more mysterious circumstances, possibly purely out of shock at his brother’s death.

You can read more here.

Here you can read some letters written by the brothers. Sometimes they wrote on different sides of the paper; sometimes they wrote one letter and referred to themselves as “we.” Sometimes they use “I” and refer to each other as “my brother.”

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s