Oddjects No.1

I’ve been running my mystery object for over three years now and I’ve decided to add another kind of post in order to share some of the odd and interesting objects that I come across as I work in the collections of the Horniman Museum.

To share these specimens I’ve chosen the name ‘Oddjects’ as a portmanteau of ‘Odd’ and ‘Objects’. Here’s the first:


This happens to be a Wolffish (Anarhichas sp.) specimen that was a mystery object back in 2010, but here I just want to use the specimen to capture the imagination and spark discussion rather than provide much in-depth interpretation.

What does this make you think of?

I hope you enjoy the Oddjects I plan to share – if you do I would heartily recommend also checking out the Twitter and Tumblr feeds for the Horniman’s collections review projects as they also share some great objects.

Friday mystery object #169 answer

On Friday I gave you this specimen to identify:

It was one of those specimens that if you’d seen one before it was easy, if not it’s quite hard to work out.

In gross shape the skull has some similarities to that of a reptile, perhaps something like a Monitor lizard (albeit a little narrower). However, it actually belongs to a fish.

Cam Weir recognised this and managed to identify the kind of fish to genus and then species level, along with henstridgesj, 23thorns, Barbara Powell and Robin. Leigh and Ethan were also in the right ball-park with their identifications. This is the skull of the  Continue reading

Friday mystery object #128 answer

Happy New Year!

On Friday I gave you this piece of an animal to identify:

As expected, you managed to work out what it is in fairly short order.

Jake recognised it as skin, Denis Copilas as scales and Rhea as carapace – all of which are right at least in part. Henstridgesj and Barbara Powell’s friend Alison spotted that the section of carapace came from a Cowfish or Boxfish. There wasn’t really enough information available to identify it any further than that.

Fortunately this specimen had a label associated with it, so I can tell you that the section of carapace is from the  Continue reading

Friday mystery object #80 answer

On Friday I gave you this sectioned bit of a critter as the mystery object:

A slightly trickier one than usual, so I wasn’t surprised at the range of suggestions – ranging from a vertebra to a Narwhal tusk. Jack Ashby got in first with a tentative stab at the right answer when he said ‘sawfish maybe?‘ a suggestion supported by Carlos Grau. It is indeed part of the rostrum (beak or nose) of a  Continue reading