Amazingly Preserved Brain Discovered in 2,600-year-old Severed Head

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Aug. 17 2012 5:22 PM

Amazingly Preserved Brain Discovered in 2,600-year-old Severed Head

Talk about being in a pickle—a remarkably well-preserved human brain has been discovered in a severed head that was dumped in an English bog 2,600 years ago.

Found inside the skull of an unfortunate Iron Age man in his 30s who was hung, then decapitated with his head quickly ending up in the swampy pit, the ancient gray matter is still soft, "tofu-like in texture," and odorless, with no signs of bacterial or fungal activity.

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An incredibly well-preserved brain has been discovered in a skull found in an English bog that dates back 2600 years.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Considering that brain tissue normally liquefies rapidly when exposed to air, finding a perfectly pickled prehistoric brain is an incredible discovery. But a brain in a bog—especially one inside a freshly liberated head—has a distinct advantage, it seems. Researchers note that, with no bacteria from the rest of the body to contaminate it along with its boggy, oxygen-starved burial grounds, the brain could indeed stand the test of time.

OK, let’s hook this thing up to some electric current and one of those robot mouths and see what it says!

Video by Paca Thomas.

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