Boing Boing presents: Skeleton Boy, a moving short documentary about the life, death and afterlife of Harry Eastlack, star of the Mutter Museum

Originally published at:


no audio, or just me?

The Mutter also features a taxidermied giant colon. The body a woman that was mummified by being turned entirely into soap, the worlds largest collection of abnormal skulls, and a complete series of mounted skeletons showing the embryonic development of a human.

Among other things.

Philly is actually full of medical weird of that sort too. I used to work for UPenn hospital, and there’s a little mini museum in nearly every corner. One of the lecture halls has a museum of surgical instruments tucked in there. A hallway that doubles as a museum of skin disorders. Its just lined top to bottom with wax masks of people with carbuncles and shit.


Wow, this is one of the better BB posts I think I’ve ever seen. You can tell the doctor cares deeply about this condition and what he’s done and is doing to combat it.


The Mutter seems a bit to much like an old fashioned kunstkammer. Many of the specimens have no details or collection information displayed. Most of the visitors are just there to look at the oddites rather than contextualize their experience with the objects.

1 Like

I can understand why they might show the carbuncles, by why show the feces?

(rim shot)


I had audio.

That’s an interesting description for “your tissue turns to bone upon the slightest damage”…



I am very glad that Dr. Thomas treats the remains of Harry Eastlack with reverence.

I’m torn by I’ve seen at the Mutter Museum. I looked at the bodies and thought to myself, “These were people.” Maybe a museum for the general public is not the way to display human remains.

1 Like

Thank you Dr. Kaplan, for your compassion. In a world of news about the free floating hatred for our fellow men Dr. Kaplan represents the best of our nature as human beings.


I’ve been to the Mutter museum a couple of times and seen much of what you mention. One of the “other things” that struck me was the medical books bound in human leather. Apparently it used to be a thing for doctors to donate their skin for that purpose after they died.

To me, those books conjure images of ancient alchemists, or perhaps magicians in fantasy novels, while the some other displays look like they could have been in a laboratory in a 50s/60s science fiction movie.


I thought the Quay Brother’s Through the Weeping Glass (2011) efficiently – and artistically – covered this (and other oddities at the museum).

1 Like

Thanks for posting this. It was well worth viewing it to learn about this condition and to witness the humanism of all involved.

The moment when Dr. Kaplan and his colleagues identified the FOP gene must have been something to see.


Man, the human body is capable of such interesting and countless abnormalities… except transgenderism… that’s impossible.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.