10 Disturbing Medical Images from History

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10 Disturbing Medical Images from History



WARNING: DISTURBING. I recently bought an amazing book about one of my favourite places on earth (though I have yet to visit there): The Mütter Museum. It is a museum filled with medical anomalies and photographs of such. In this book are some incredible (but disturbing) images from the museum. I have selected 10 of the most interesting to share you with you today. If you like this list be sure to consider buying the book – it has over 200 incredible images just like this. Click the images to view larger.


Chinese Fingernails

As a symbol of high social standing, high members of the Chinese aristocracy would often grow their fingernails to an excessive length. This was perhaps (like foot binding) a sign that they need not have functional use of their hands for work.

See even more of the macabre exhibits of the Mutter Museum—some of which have never been unveiled to the public. Buy Mutter Museum Historic Medical Photographs at Amazon.com!



This is the skeleton of John Aasen (1890-1938) who was employed in the circus as a sideshow freak. John was 7’1/2″ (214cm) tall. Due to his height he was also used in Hollywood movies.


Triple Amputee

The thirty-two year old man pictured here had his legs and one arms crushed by a railroad car which was transporting building materials. He had to have all three limbs amputated. His was the second successful triple amputation in the United States.


Widow Sunday

This is a wax model of Madame Dimanche (Widow Sunday) who had a 9.8 inch horn on her head. It took six years to grow to that length. It was removed successfully by a famed French surgeon.


Foot Deformity

The deformed feet above are the result of a birth defect. These can occur not just in the feet but on the hands also. These deformities were often attributed to “germ or sperm”.


Blanche Dumas

Long time readers will have heard of Blanche Dumas – she is featured on the list of Bizarre Relationships for having sex with a man with three legs and two penises – Juan Baptista Dos Santos; rather convenient for her as she had three legs and two vaginas (and four breasts too). This is the first time we have featured a photograph of Blanche taken from the rear.

What stories do the dead tell? Author Kathleen Sands imagines the lives that came before in her creepy fictional work Boy of Bone: Twelve Stories Inspired by the Mutter Museum at Amazon.com!


Enlarged Bosom

This rather unfortunate woman suffered from bilateral hypertrophy of both breasts. Amazingly she survived an operation to remove them both. After removal the left breast weighed seventeen pounds and the right weighed forty-three pounds.



The man above – suffering from elephantiasis – was so distressed by his condition that he begged for amputation. Instead an experimental surgery was performed on him which successfully removed much of the excess tissue. Unfortunately, however, he died five months later.



This man suffered from Von Recklinhausen’s Disease (also known as neurofibromatosis). It is a genetic disorder in which your nerves grow tumours. If one of parent’s suffers from this illness you have a 50% chance of inheriting it.



Cyclopia is a rare birth defect in which the body is unable to properly separate the two eye sockets so they remain merged as one. The majority of babies suffering this disease are stillborn but if they survive it is not usually for more than a few hours.

Where Is the Center of the Universe?

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Where Is the Center of the Universe?

 Where Is the Center of the Universe?
The universe is incredibly vast, but where exactly is the center? It turns out there is none.

Credit: Shutterstock

Looking up at a clear night sky, you see stars in every direction. It almost feels as if you’re at the center of the cosmos. But are you? And if not, where is the center of the universe?

The universe, in fact, has no center. Ever since the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, the universe has been expanding. But despite its name, the Big Bang wasn’t an explosion that burst outward from a central point of detonation. The universe started out extremely compact and tiny. Then every point in the universe expanded equally, and that continues today. And so, without any point of origin, the universe has no center. [Big Bang to Civilization: 10 Amazing Origin Events]

One way to think about this is to imagine a two-dimensional ant that lives on the surface of a perfectly spherical balloon. From the ant’s point of view, everywhere on the surface looks the same. There is no center on the sphere’s surface, nor is there an edge.

If you inflate the balloon, the ant will see its two-dimensional universe expand. Draw dots on the surface, and they will move away from one another, just like the galaxies in our real universe do.

For the ant in this two-dimensional universe, any third dimension that extends perpendicular to the balloon’s surface – like traveling into the center of the balloon  – has no physical meaning.

“It knows it can go forward and backward. It can go left and right,” said Barbara Ryden, an astrophysicist at The Ohio State University. “But it has no concept of up and down.”

Our universe is a 3D version of the ant’s 2D balloon universe. But the balloon analogy, with its limited surface area, represents a finite universe — which cosmologists still aren’t sure is true of our own, Ryden said. Limited by how far light has traveled since the Big Bang, cosmologists’ observations offer only a finite glimpse of the cosmos, but the entire universe could be infinite.

If that’s the case, then you can replace the balloon with a flat, expanding rubber sheet that extends forever. Or if you want to think of a 3D universe, imagine an infinite loaf of raisin bread that’s continuously expanding. The raisins, in this case, represent the galaxies flying away from one another. “If the universe is infinite,” Ryden told Live Science, “there is no center.”

Whether the universe is flat or curved depends on the total amount of mass and energy in the cosmos. If the mass and energy density of the universe is just right — at the so-called critical density — then the universe would be flat like a sheet, expanding at a steadily accelerating rate.

But if the density is higher, then the cosmos would be curved like the balloon. The extra gravity from this increased density would slow cosmic expansion, eventually bringing that growth to a halt.

Meanwhile, at less than this critical density, cosmic expansion would accelerate even more. In this scenario, the universe would have negative curvature, with a shape somewhat like a saddle. It would still be infinite, however, and thus without a center.

So far, theoretical ideas and observations — such as those of the cosmic microwave background radiation, the afterglow from the Big Bang — point to a remarkably flat universe. But cosmologists still aren’t sure if the universe is indeed flat or if the curvature is so wide that the universe only appears flat — similar to how Earth feels flat on the surface.

That the universe has no center — and, by extension, no edge — is consistent with the cosmological principle, the idea that no place in the universe is special. Observations of how galaxy clusters are distributed and the cosmic microwave background reveal a cosmos that, when you zoom out far enough, does indeed look the same everywhere.

Throughout history, humans have wrongly thought we were at or near the center of the universe —whether that center was the Earth, the sun or even the Milky Way galaxy. But no matter how special we humans think we are, the universe has, so far, shown otherwise.

Originally published on Live Science.