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Death Made Stranger  

Death is a strange thing.  But some have made it even stranger by preserving body parts of the deceased.  I am completely serious.  Following are eight examples from an article in The Ultimate Book of Randomly Awesome Facts, published by Scholastic.

  • Scientist Isaac Newton’s tooth was set in a ring and is now said to be worth thousands of dollars.
  • Russian leader Vladimir Lenin’s brain was sliced into 31,000 slivers so that it could be studied (wonder what they’ve discovered).
  • A lock of George Washington’s hair is kept in a locket in a Maine museum.
  • Scientist Albert Einstein’s eyes were removed and kept by one of his doctors.  No one seems to know why.
  • Composer Frederic Chopin’s heart lies in a crystal jar in Warsaw, Poland. 
  • Astronomer Galileo Galilei’s middle finger and thumb rest in a museum in Florence, Italy. 
  • One of Buddha’s teeth is said to have survived the fire that burned his funeral pyre, and is now in Sri Lanka.
  • Fragments of Abraham Lincoln’s skull—and the bullet that killed him—are in Maryland. 

Creepy, huh?

I once walked past the heavily waxed body of Mao Zedong in China.  And in Hanoi, we gawked at the preserved remains of Ho Chi Minh.  What is it with Communists preserving corpses? 

Biblically speaking, the treatment of a dead body ought to evoke respect—hence the custom of anointing bodies with spices.  Our souls, of course, represent incomparable worth.  But in the Scriptures, our bodies are treated with regard, as well.

1 Corinthians 15:52,53 assures us, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

I doubt that after I'm gone anyone will have the slightest interest in the tiniest slice of my brain.  But all joking aside, I shall be eternally grateful to have been “raised imperishable.”  

What will it be like to “put on immortality?”  Given our proneness to sickness, suffering, and death, aren’t you looking forward to finding out?


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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