Do you find the thought of, say, a jar filled with skin pickings or a 74-pound ovarian cyst intriguing instead of revolting?
Would you like a glimpse of conjoined twins suspended in fluid or a necklace made of warts?
If you’re still reading, you may have a morbid sense of curiosity, or just a strong stomach. Either way, Memento Mütter, an online cabinet of medical oddities, may be for you.
The exhibition was created by the Mütter Museum, located inside the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Styled like a 19th-century cabinet museum, the Mütter has gained a reputation for its bizarre collections, including Grover Cleveland’s jaw tumor, countless human skulls, and any number of diseased and abnormal body parts.
The website offers a carefully curated peek into that bizarre world — and despite ranging from curious to nauseating, each featured item is presented with care. Objects like a cutaneous horn removed from a 70-year-old woman may suck you in with their weirdness, but they’re placed in context (such as the history of the earliest documented cutaneous horn, and an explanation of the phenomenon, which relates to sun exposure).
Memento Mütter invites its audience to reflect on the nature of humanity and mortality — and shows off some of the jewels of a collection that is too vast and fragile to ever be displayed in its entirety.
You may come for a glimpse at the gross — gouty hands suspended in glass or a “choking doll” designed to help physicians learn how to remove inhaled objects from kids’ throats. But you’ll likely keep clicking because of what you learn about the possibilities and permutations of the human body.
Intrigued? Visit memento.muttermuseum.org.