— Museum of Human Disease
IF YOUR IDEA of a great day out is wandering around examining displays of infected or deformed tissue, the Museum of Human Disease at the University of New South Wales in Sydney should be very high on your to-do list.
The museum, situated in the university’s school of medical sciences, contains more than 2,000 specimens – most of them organs removed either during operations on the living or autopsies on the dead.
Admittedly not for the squeamish, the museum’s displays permit a rare glimpse into the stark actuality of infectious and non-infectious diseases. Ever wondered what diphtheria and typhoid look like from the inside? How about HIV? It’s all here, in hermetically sealed threedimensional gory glory.
Many of the displays serve as useful aids to understanding for medical students as well as objects of enjoyably morbid curiosity to visitors. Some, however, are just plain weird, such as a preserved teratoma – a kind of ovary tumour that, in this instance, has sprouted its own hair and teeth.
Under the guidance of director Derek Williamson, the museum is open Monday to Friday, between 9am and 4pm. Adult entry is just $10. Museum policy requires all children under the age of 15 to be accompanied by an adult – which, given the gruesome nature of the exhibits, is probably a very good idea indeed.
Museum of Human Disease Sydney, NSW