By the light of torches, candles or miners lights, haunting scenes centuries old appear to unfold. Scenes of skulls, bones and death are everywhere. The passages can be as low as three feet overhead or even less. The air heavy with dust, and the ground underfoot flooded with grimy water splashing way over your shoes. In tunnels up to 100 feet below the surface bustle of one of the world’s great cities, another clandestine world exists.
Consulting maps, self-trained guides lead the way, while others look for opportunities to take photographs. Exploring the Paris Catacombs, also known as the Mines of Paris, carries risk. For one, it is strictly illegal, with special police and their dogs patrolling the vast subterranean network. There is also a very real danger of getting lost, as well as the chance of cave-ins in some places.
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The Brno Ossuary is the second largest ossuary in Europe. The town of Brno, located in the Czech Republic, was settled in the year of 1243. The discovery of the bodies occured quite recently and definitely by accident.
Before completing renovations in the small town, it is standard practice to complete a preliminary archeological dig. When the digging began in 2001, it turned up some 50,000 skeletons that were stuffed under the square into a medieval charnel. Once piled in neat rows, at some point water and mud had flooded the gigantic underground ossuary and jumbled thousands upon thousands of bones.
The bones are thought to be from the 1600 through the 1700s and are believed to have been moved from an old cemetery to make space for more burials. This is the case for most of the ossuaries and catacombs in Europe. It is the sheer amount of skulls, bones and skeletons that makes it the second largest ossuary in Europe, with the first being the Catacombs in Paris.
Because of the different colors on the bones, It is clear that many of the people died of various diseases. Though all the bones are tinted yellow, having never been exposed to sunlight, the extra yellow ones likely died of cholera, while the red tinted bones probably died from the plague.
Doctor Returns Amputated Arm to Owner After 47 Years
An American doctor, who kept the bones of a patient’s amputated arm as a bizarre wartime memento, has returned them to the man 47 years later.
Dr Sam Axelrad took the arm bones home to Houston from Vietnam in 1966 after his medical colleagues boiled off the flesh, reconstructed the arm bones and gave them to him as a souvenir.
The doctor flew to Vietnam to meet the amputee, former North Vietnamese soldier Nguyen Quang Hung, after he found the bones in a military bag in his closet where they had sat for decades.
(Source: Daily Mail)
Bone-Eating Snot-Flower Worm
Osedax mucofloris is also known as the bone-eating snot-flower worm. This bizarre animal was recently discovered and described in 2005, by museum scientists working together with marine biologists in Sweden.
The animal lives on whale bones on the sea floor and it is thought that this species, and others closely related to it, have evolved unique adaptations to this unusual habitat. To date, the bone-eating snot-flower worm has only been recorded from 2 whale carcasses off the coast of Sweden.
All of these flowers are made from real bones of mice and rats. Japanese artist Hideki Tokushige states that the collection, called “Honebana” (bone flower), is the result of a ceremonial process that honors the cycle of death, decay, and rebirth, even as modern society becomes increasingly detached from this spiritual reality.