Now With REAL Skull Action!
I’m continuing with Collector’s Week (see previous two posts). I have a penchant for macabre subjects and would possibly have made a decent CSI. When I was young I found a small animal skull in the woods we lived nearby. My mother allowed me to keep it, though my father was a little disturbed by my interest. I never found anything in addition to it, but I would have definitely started a collection. Years later I’m now a person who doesn’t go outside much and I don’t have the gold to buy the bones online so I do the next best thing and collect fakes and pirate flags and skeletal designs. Dad still thinks it’s weird.
Another quick story: Last weekend I visited my mother. We went to a craft store. As we were checking out our large and lovely clerk started talking to us about the things we were making with the odd bits and pieces we had bought. Rather, Mom had to justify the soldering iron and heavy wire as Steampunk items. The girl brightened up and said, “It’s okay, I collect bones!” We chatted on about how she was obtaining them. I noted I was familiar with “The Bone Room”, but she was lucky enough to know people who actually looked for them for her when they were out in natural settings.
Say you are in the market for a skull or a femur or a badger penile bone. Where would you go? Sure there are “science websites” that sell rocket kits as well as expensive replica stuff. But what about the real things? As mentioned before, there is The Bone Room. It’s main specialty, as the name indicates, is bones, but it also does fossils, nature-based jewelry, and, eh, “unique gifts”. Forewarning: I can’t post human skulls. This is not because I don’t want to, but because there’s such a shortage that if I post a picture it is likely to be gone within a few weeks or less (despite the high demand prices). Check their Tibetan Carved Skulls for their current stock – seriously cool! Here’s some other stuff they sell:
On the left are “mink baculum earrings” – yes, earrings made from mink penile bones. On the right is a badger skull.
Next up is Skulls Unlimited International. I had actually found this site first when searching many years ago. This one has more potential for a bone collector as they have a wider variety in regards to taxonomy (including several species of fish) and a lot more groupings of items for educational value. However, these tend to be museum replica items as SUI is geared more towards teaching/museums than the creepy loners trying to find that one scapula to complete their collection. Again, there are some real skulls that I can’t link to because they will be gone gone gone soon! But check out their Smilodon replicas and horse skulls:
Also, a present consideration for my upcoming birthday: the “skull carrying case” (it upsets me that this is a limited item).
If you don’t have the cash or like doing the fancy footwork, remember that there may be dead bodies floating around your own back yard! Searching for tips & tricks was hard, but Google Books helped me out and here is an excerpt from Survival Wisdom & Know How: Everything You Need to Know to Subsist in the Wilderness. (It’s about a chapter of her book so I’m just linking it instead of quoting.)
If this is far too real for you, don’t worry: I’ll cover the cutesy & cheery side of your skull needs tomorrow.