Real Japanese horror story: a specimen shelf at a Kagoshima high school held a real human skull
These high school students won’t have any shortage of material for their next summer camp excursion, that’s for sure.
There are few pieces of apparatus as definitive to the science classroom as bones. Whether it’s a full-sized skeleton or just the skull, those plastic replicas do a full body’s work in educating our kids about bone structure (and also freaking them out).
▼ “Good morning, class!”
For the students of Tsurumaru High School in Kagoshima prefecture, the skull on their classroom’s specimen shelf wasn’t a replica. Way back in July 2016, a teacher found the skull in the school’s biology lecture hall and immediately reported it to the police. They examined it, determined it to be unmistakably human, and set about finding the skull’s identity.
It turns out that it’s pretty hard to identify a skull, especially an old one, so the skull was given a civic cremation and burial under the alias “Departed Traveler“. A pretty fitting moniker, considering no one knows exactly how this skull made its way into a high school without the rest of the body attached to it.
According to a formal statement released by the governmental gazette on June 5, the skull belonged to a woman who passed away about 50 years ago. Any other information is still shrouded in mystery, including all the specifics of her journey across time to land in a lecture hall.
Naturally, the reignited topic of the teacher’s ghoulish discovery is rattling people’s bones all over social media. Pop singer-songwriter Midori Karashima had her own recollections from when she attended the high school in her youth.
ビックリ！生徒さんが生物教室を掃除ししながら 「まるで本物みたいに精巧だね！」「いやいや本物ですから」訴えていたのか…(*o*)!?私も兄もこの頭蓋骨と一緒に授業を受けていたとは…誰かこのミステリー解明してください！ - Yaho… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
“What a shock! Perhaps this is why the students always complained about it while cleaning that lecture hall… “It’s so detailed, it almost seems real…” “That’s because it is real, duh!” Both I and my older brother took classes with that skull! Someone please solve the mystery about its origins!”
Other comments ranged from the sympathetic (“Terrifying!”) to the sympathetic (“We had some ancient dissected frogs up in formaldehyde back in junior high, but this is something else…”) to the downright ghoulish (“You know what this means! The rest of her skeleton is hidden around the school somewhere!”)
▼ “Why couldn’t someone have moved me to the art room?”
We hope that more information gets dug up about this mysterious woman from decades past, so that her spirit can rest properly. At least she’s not trapped eternally reliving biology classes from high school. Talk about a terrifying concept.
For more stories of body parts cropping up in unusual places, this singing child has you covered. While we’re on the topic, have you ever wondered what Pikachu’s skeleton would look like? A kindly teacher answered that question too.