Two years ago, when Adam Voorhes entered a storage closet at University of Texas, he found a great many ghastly jars, filled with human brains.
Sounds like a scene out of Frankenstein (or better yet Young Frankenstein). But in fact, this really happened. Scientific American magazine sent Voorhes off to the university to take a brain out on loan (much like many undergraduates) and photograph it. This is when he walked into the brain closet where there were around one hundred brains.
You wouldn’t find any great minds, such as Hans Delbrück’s, in the collection because all the brains were abnormal. In Voorhes’s photos, the jars are labeled with the day of death and the mental disease with which the person was diagnosed, such as Down syndrome or hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”). According to Feature Shoot, the collection dates back to the 1950s and was to be used for research. When funding ran out, so did the study — and the brains sat in the closet, gathering dust.
Over the last year, Voorhes and journalist Alex Hannaford have been picking the university’s brain collection and have come up with some mind-blowing photos.