Go Inside a Museum's Animal Dissection Lab, If You Dare

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There’s always a lot going on behind the scenes at museums. For example, in the basement of Chicago’s Field Museum, researchers prepare the specimens that will be studied and displayed at the museum—and then they post that gnarly goopiness on YouTube through a channel the museum maintains.

It’s a science channel called The Brain Scoop with over a quarter million subscribers. And because I love you guys, I want to kick your week off in the most nauseating way possible—but also get you thinking about all the interesting stuff happening at museums that you’re blissfully unaware of. It’s a fascinating look into the work of a natural history museum, and how scientists glean insights from animal specimens.


Some of the videos below are quite graphic, so if animal anatomy isn’t your thing, now’s the time to navigate away. We’ll start off tame, with an ant in a petri dish. Learn how they can run around even if segments of their bodies are ripped off in a battle:

And now let’s go from zero to 100: Skinning a zebra.

“This is gonna end up on that one subreddit, I just know it,” host Emily moans, as goo is squished out of a skinned, severed squirrel head. Its brains are compared to homemade Thousand Island dressing.

Here’s one video simply titled “Skinning the Wolf”:

We’ll go out with the two-headed calf.

Most of the videos on The Brain Scoop, though, are totally friendly to your gag reflex, and are free of any animal insides. Like this explainer that breaks down the differences between horns and antlers:

Drawers full of platypuses:

The joy of octopus sex:

And an introduction to pangolins, an animal host Emily calls “basically a Sandshrew”: