Octopus On Yo Head of the Week

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thales_ulufeke, originally uploaded by montyy0.

This is one of the most primal of all images, that of man rising from the gray sea with an octopus on his head. No wonder it has been created and recreated over and over again in every age of our octopus topped collective unconscious.

From Octopus On Yo Head photo group, created by Dapper Cadaver

Octopus on Yo Head of the Week

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This is an excellent example of early 1900’s Ocotpus on Yo Head Daguerreotypes. Typical of the time, both the subject and the octopus on his head are posed unsmiling, to suggest nobility.

From Octopus on Yo Head a photo group started by Dapper Cadaver

Strange Answers: Do You Sell Real Human Skulls?

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unearthed skeleton 2, originally uploaded by Boju.

As part of Dapper Cadaver’s on going quest to answer all the strange questions we receive, today I tackle a biggie. The selling of real human remains.
You might think it odd, but I get asked for human remains a couple times a day, and every couple of months someone asks if I’m interested in buying some human remains that they have, for some reason.

Here’s the short answer: No. No I don’t sell, No I don’t buy and No I can’t help anyone find anyone who does. The laws on who can legally buy and sell human remains are fairly complex, so the rule of thumb to go by is this – buying, selling, or owning human remains is illegal

That’s pretty easy. “Why is it illegal?” I’m often asked. Well, because the sources of human remains are, at some point, living humans. The vast majority of bones “on the market” don’t come from organ donors, they come from China and Indian, where even licensed sources are under frequent allegations of grave robbing and dealing in prisoner remains. The rest of the bones that are being sold are archaeological theft, contemporary grave robbing, war trophies, criminal evidence, and a mixed bag of specimens passed from hand to hand for so long the origins, legitimate or not, are long since lost. The burden of proof is on the owner – if you can prove you bought your bones from a licensed medical supply house great, if not, you’re looking at a range of allegations up to and including accessory to murder. Even the famous Gunther Von Hagens of Body Worlds fame has gotten in trouble with the law for having illegal cadavers

Other anatomy stores have gotten in trouble with the law and heavily finedfor dealing in endangered animal remains and/or human bones. At Dapper Cadaver we only sell animal skulls of common livestock like pig, sheep, and steer, and US game animals, like deer. All other animal bones, both pet and exotic, are replica. Even our exotic taxidermy is synthetic. All our human remains are replica. We divide skulls into 3 categories – Halloween or budget is the lowest quality, medical quality is anatomically correct standard quality. Museum quality is the closest you can get to legally owning a human skull. These are props that have been molded off of real human skull specimens on loan from museums. The anatomical detail and realism is amazing.

I have been a bone collector and a nature lover all my life. I urge anyone who’s interested in buying bones to buy replicas. It’s the only ethical choice. Otherwise you are supporting or encouraging a black market in endangered species, fossil and archaeological treasures, and human life.

The Last Laugh – Funny Epitaphs, Names, and Headstones

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the winner, originally uploaded by Boju.

Every Halloween you seen funny headstones spring up like mushrooms from every front lawn. Most are good for a chuckle but not very realistic, they tend to be small, thin, and cartoonish.

Last year I carved a realistic headstone based on an actual old victorian design with the inscription I’m with stupid and arrows pointing to the headstones next to it. After that I started looking into real funny headstones. I added some great photos and epitaphs to my Halloween headstone section and found a great resource in the flickr group Graves to Make You Laugh

Yesterday I found the most amazing epitaph ever. It reads –
Two things I love most
Good horses and Beautiful
Women. And when I die I hope
They tan this old hide of mine,
and make it into a ladies riding
Saddle. So I can Rest in Peace
Between the two things I love

I can just imagine being this guys son, having to visualize that every time I visit pops grave.

More real funny tombstones

“In the hundred and seventh year of her life…she had fresh teeth” 

“I’m a busy man, I don’t have time for this”

“Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake, stepped on the gas instead of the brake” 

“Lovingly known as Dr. Dick” 

“This ain’t so bad, once you get used to it” 

“She always said her feet were killing her but no one believed her.” 

“I made a lot of deals in life, but I went in the hole on this one.” 

“I knew this would happen.” 

“I B Horne” 

“King Dick” 

“Noble Butt” 

“Oops he Died” 

“Rusty Nail – He lived life to the max.” 

“Fanny Hair” 

“Fanny Reider” 

“Life’s not just one thing after another, it’s the same damn thing over and over again.” 

Strange Answers: How do I clean a skeleton?

Skeletons are so white and beautiful, but usually they come with all this carcass stuck to them. What’s a person to do? That’s why Dapper Cadaver’s Strange Answers is here.

Well, you could bury the bones and let nature do it’s thing. This works quite well actually, but it takes time. And you run the risk of detritovores and scavengers making off with the remains.

A commonly held notion is that you can boil bones clean. Let me warn you, boiling rotting carcasses is a great way to make rotting carcass soup and a terrible way to clean a skeleton. You know how chicken soup on the stove fills a house with it’s deliscious smell? Imagine that’s a dead raccoon in there. That’ll cure the common cold.

Beetles are the best way to clean a corpse. The beetle in particular is called the Dermestid officially, but goes by many other names like the hide beetle, the carpet beetle, the larder beetle, and the flesh-eating beetle, because of what they eat – everything except glass, steel, and bone. Throw a buffalo sized head in to a container with a thousand or more dermestids, and they’ll leave nothing but the bones in a matter of weeks. Not overnight, but still the fastest game around. Dermestids are handy because they can crawl into eye sockets and nasal passages and get all the meat, and brains, from those hard to reach nooks and crannies.

Dermestids eat cartilage too, which is why you never see a real museum skeleton with the nose bones, ear bones, or it’s chest plate in tact. All of those parts are cartilege. Usually the sternum and center ribs are replaced with synthetics for display purpose. It’s also why you’ve never seen a shark skeleton, despite seeing shark jaws at every corner cabana.

If you want to start cleaning bones you’re going to need thousands of these little buggers. Many taxidermy shops sell guides to raising and using them, and many sell the bugs themselves. Just don’t let them get away. Eating everything is what dermestids do best. Just like the flesh eating beetles in The Mummy movie.