Friday mystery object #95

It had to happen; a mystery object on Friday the 13th – a day reputed to be unlucky. So with the theme of superstition in mind I have an anthropological object for you to identify:

I admit that this doesn’t look much different to the usual mystery objects, but this one is reputed to have certain powers. Can you work out what these powers may be and where in the world this superstition comes from? Of course, the first step will be to identify what the object actually is.

As usual you can put your suggestions, observations and questions below and I’ll do my best to answer.

Good luck!

Friday mystery object #34 answer

Friday’s mystery object was a tricky one:

Suggestions for an identification ranged from earwax to fungi, from a monstrous gall stone to diseased bone. The first ranging shot from Gimpy (It looks like bone that has been calcified or has some sort of tumour growing on it. It also seems to have … no internal blood vessels or marrow) was actually very close and I thought this would be nailed in short order, but perhaps my evasive answer put people off the scent more effectively than I had intended. Eventually the one person who has managed to guess all of the correct elements is Jake – so a hearty round of applause to our youngest contributor! It is in fact a section of Continue reading

Friday mystery object #12

I am still without internet at home, so apologies for slow responses to comments and the lower quality of my recent posts.

This Friday’s mystery object is pretty straight-forward, a simple case of ‘what is it?’


If you think you know what this is just leave a comment below – I will attempt to respond to any questions when (and if) I am able, but I can’t make any guarantees I’m afraid.

Good luck!

Friday mystery object #11

My internet is still down at home, but here’s a Friday Mystery Object anyway!

This time I just want you to work out what group of animals this ribcage comes from:


Here’s a close-up that you might find useful:


Now you don’t need to be an expert to work this out – just work out how this ribcage is similar to the ribcage of other animals and certain features should start standing out to make the answer obvious – a real case of deductive power!

To assist, I will point you in the direction of some useful comparative material and I urge you to consider how function and inheritence both shape bones used in movement.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below – I will reply whenever possible. I hope you enjoy the detective work!

Friday mystery object #10

Currently in my apartment in Bristol frantically searching for a suitable mystery object whilst also trying to plan the talks I want to attend at SVP.

I get the feeling skulls are getting boring for some of you, so perhaps it’s time I introduced an object that isn’t directly related to what I’m doing at work. In the pub yesterday, a natural history curator friend  of mine (David Waterhouse from Norwich Castle Museum) queried the type of leather on the seat of his chair (it’s the kind of thing we do). We think we know, but can you work it out?

Name the source of this leather seat cover

Name the source of this leather seat cover

Not an easy one, particularly without any clues, but I will attempt to answer any questions go help you on your way – just post them below in the comments section.

Good luck! Continue reading

Friday mystery object #9

It’s Friday again, we all know what that means – Mystery Object time!

Last week I gave you a really tricky one, that you managed to work out with some clues. I liked the Q&A format, but unfortunately I am between ISP’s at the moment, so I don’t think I will have the chance to have as much input this week. Instead there is a poll (although comments are always welcome!) and I will return to my favourite objects – skulls.


So, what is this the skull of? Choose an answer from the poll below (don’t forget to hit “vote”): Continue reading

Friday mystery object #7

Since there have been calls for some variety (skulls not good enough for you eh?) and there have even been accusations of the FMO being “too easy” I have decided to unleash a tricky one for you this week.

Scale in cm

Scale in cm

Simple questions, what is it and what’s it made of?

No poll this week, just leave your thoughts in the comments section below. I will give you a clue however – it’s supposed to be magical (even Harry Potter’s used one).

More clues to follow if they’re needed!

Friday mystery object #2

Delving deeper into the world of natural history this week, with the second of my Friday Mystery Objects!

This should be much easier than last week’s object since you only need to work out what it is and I have provided two views (scale is in cm BTW). If it proves too simple I will up the difficulty next week!

mystery object #2a

mystery object #2b

As before, put you thoughts in the comments section below. Answer will follow on Monday in a seperate post and I may drop in some extra clues if they’re needed.

Friday mystery object #1

I’ve decided to share my world with others – at work I get to see some amazing stuff and often I have to work out what it is, because the label has gone missing. So here is the first of my Friday Mystery Objects!


So, what is it and why does it look like that?

Put you thoughts in the comments section below. Answer will follow on Monday in a seperate post.

Good luck!