Mütter Museum Website Lets Visitors Get Up-Close and Personal with Medical Specimens

Diseases of the eye. Mütter Museum
Diseases of the eye. Mütter Museum / Diseases of the eye. Mütter Museum

Are you listless? Bored? Tired of cycling through the same four websites all day? Well, have we got a solution for you! Cruise on over to the Mütter Museum’s website, where their brand-new online exhibition “Memento Mütter” lets visitors get up-close and personal with diseased faces, twisted bones, and terrifying surgical instruments.

Never heard of the Mütter? If you like watching surgery on TV or reading about tumors, this is the place for you. Based in Philadelphia, the museum boasts one of the nation’s finest collections of medical history specimens and paraphernalia. (And yes, teachers, they offer school tours.) For all of us outside Cheesesteak Central, there’s “Memento Mütter." The site offers access to more than 50 items, many of which are not on display at the museum itself. You can zoom, twirl, and interact with creepy faceless dolls and pickled organs to your heart's content.

Zoomed in on a preserved coal miner's lung. Note the options at right. Image Credit:Mütter Museum

“We invite visitors to be disturbingly informed about how our bodies function and malfunction, but examining specimens, models, and tools through glass has obvious limitations,” museum director Robert Hicks said in a press statement. “Imagine climbing into the exhibit case with a magnifying lens and turning an object around or even inside out. This is what Memento Mütter allows visitors to do. Not just onlookers, visitors are now co-curators. Our ambition is to enlist visitors as partners in discovery.”

Amazing. Image Credit: Mütter Museum

And what discoveries! Visitors to the online exhibition can inspect a 74-pound ovarian cyst, and a necklace made of genital warts, just to name just a few items. Curated collections include “Poisoning,” “Suffering,” “Extruding,” and “Penetrating.” Each object comes with its own story, which lends another dimension of context and reality to an already alarmingly vivid experience. But our words can’t describe it. If you love the surprising, the disgusting, and the bizarre, get thee to "Memento Mütter."