This cow eyeball was given to us by a friend who collects curiosities like us!
Cow eyeballs are commonly used for dissection in science classes because of their similarity to human eyes, though they are quite bigger.
Preserved cow eyeball wet specimen
Size: 2 1/4″ wide x 1 1/2″ tall; jar 2 3/4″ tall
From: Given as a gift
Price: Unknown, but you can find them online for just a few dollars
This was the first human bone in our collection. One day in Obscura we saw a jar of human rib bones for relatively cheap. They told us that they get their human bones from cadavers that are no longer of use to medical schools.
There are laws that one must follow if you would like to have human pieces in your collection. The main rule is that the item cannot be immediately viable. For example, you cannot buy a heart from a recently deceased person that could still be used for a heart transplant to save someone else’s life. However, once the item does not hold any potential value to a living person, it is acceptable to buy and sell human remains.
An old rib from a medical school cadaver
Size: 4 1/2″ long x 3/4″ wide
This is one of the first butterflies we ever added to our collection (it’s technically M’s). We went to the World of Wings exhibit in New Jersey in February of 2014. There were some reptiles on display, but the main attraction was their butterfly exhibit, where every hour they would release the butterflies all around you in a special climate controlled room just for them.
Honestly I’m a little scared of butterflies because I don’t like bugs that can fly but this was a cool experience and I like how beautiful they are (as long as they’re dead).
We unfortunately don’t know what species of butterfly this one is, but it has beautiful black, white, orange, and yellow markings. We highly recommend the World of Wings exhibit if you’re ever in the area!
A butterfly displayed in glass with a wooden frame.
Size: butterfly 3″ wide x 1 1/2″ tall; frame 4 1/2″ wide x 4″ tall x 2″ deep
From: World of Wings Museum
M gave me this 3D printed skull with the glass dome to protect it. It’s so intricate and beautiful, and definitely one of the more artistic items we have in our collection.
The skull and dome are from one of our favorites, Evolution.
3D Printed Skull
A plastic, ornate model skull in a glass dome with a wooden base.
Size: skull 3″ long x 2 1/2″ wide x 2 3/4″ tall, dome 5 1/2″ wide x 6″ tall
From: Joshua Harker- Etsy
Price: skull $50-$100, dome $20-50
Quail is a collective name for many species of mid-sized birds in the order Galliformes. There are Old World quails and New World quails, which are two different families (Phasianidae and Odontophoridae, respectively). They are kept as pets, hunted for food, or used for their eggs.
We unfortunately do not know what species of quail we have, but it is cute!
A common kind of bird preserved in a glass jar.
Size: 1.5″ diameter x 3.25″ tall
From: Black Bear Bath Salts – Etsy
A Daruma doll (sometimes called a Dharma doll) is a round and hollow paper-mache doll modeled after the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism, Bodhidharma. It is considered a kind of good luck charm to the Japanese; they also symbol perseverance. Their typical color is red with white, blank eyes. When you receive a Daruma, you are supposed to fill in one eye when you set a goal for yourself, then the other eye when you have fulfilled it. Looking at the one-eyed Daruma is supposed to remind you of your goal and convince you to keep working towards it.
Daruma dolls are traditionally used for a year, then are brought back right after New Year’s Day to the temple they were purchased from for a ritual burning, called the Daruma Kuyo. Then a new one is purchased for the next year.
Japanese Paper Daruma
A traditional paper-mache doll used to set and reach goals.
Size: 5″ wide x 5″ deep x 6″ tall
From: Mitsuwa Marketplace
Chalcosoma caucasus is also commonly referred to as a giant scarab beetle or atlas beetle. The atlas beetle is actually Chalcosoma atlas but they are both in the family Scarabaeidae. The caucasus beetle is one of the biggest insects in the world, with the males often measuring over 4 inches long. The males are the only ones with horns, which are used to fight other males over the females of the species.
Personally I don’t like bugs but it’s a great addition to our collection anyway!
One of the largest insects in the world, found in Asia
Size: 4″ long x 1.5″ wide x 1″ tall