At first I was unsure how I would feel about the whole thing because although I'm a science geek, I like to stick to physical science, like astronomy, geology, physics, or chemistry. But if you start talking Anatomy and Physiology, Bio, or any form of life science, I'll get out ASAP. A&P was a struggle in academy simply because just talking about anything body-related makes me want to pass out. But I decided that an entire museum of just plain bones couldn't be so bad, after all they are all dried up and bleached and clean. And it was awesome! I wish they had a place like that here that they could have taken my class to!
The museum had two levels with a space in the middle that went straight to the ceiling. This is where they hung some giant whale skeletons and had rhino and giraffe skeletons that you could touch.
Ok, now remember how I hate blood and body stuff? Despite that, one of the most interesting things in the museum was a video compilation about how exactly the bones are prepared. See, the museum is adjacent to a place called Skulls Unlimited. Not exactly somewhere you'd go for a fun shopping spree. Basically, it's a company (which owns and operates the museum) that takes bodies and does the dirty job (literally) of, well, stripping them down to the bones. And then cleaning, bleaching, and reassembling the entire skeleton. And it is QUITE the process. They mostly cater to hunters, schools (for educational purposes) and random people who find animal bodies and just want a skeleton. They say they've done every kind of animal and have even reassembled some human bones.
As much as I would love to explain every shocking and disgusting detail (and I would- it's fascinating) of the process, I'm going to let my friend Mike Rowe do it for me. Yep, Mike Rowe came to the company and filmed an episode for his hit Discovery series Dirty Jobs. In a letter he wrote (which is displayed in the gift shop), the original cut was just too, well, dirty, to air on the discovery channel. So they cut some more until it was viewer-appropriate, but Mike felt that it didn't do the job justice. Yep, Mike, we're basically on a first-name basis. Click here to watch the clip from the episode. In short, as much "stuff" (no need to use a more descriptive word here or I'll get queasy) is cut from the bones and then they are placed in giant tanks of beetles, which eat any leftover stuff. Then they soak them in a peroxide solution so they come out squeak
Here's a few more photos from the day. The hummingbird was by far the cutest skeleton (skeletons can be cute, right?) and this fellow with the tusks was one of the strangest. The egg display was so cool because of all the different colors!