Like a Disney Land for the mentally disturbed, Amsterdam's Museum Vrolik is probably the world's most varied collection of deformities this side of an Ozark family reunion. Though the study of medical anomalies furthers our understanding of biology, we can only imagine how many tourists ended up scarred for life after peeking in to ask for directions to the tulip museum.
"There weren't enough pot shops to clear this from my memory."
Before the place became a formal institution, most of these specimens were displayed as a private collection owned by Gerardus Vrolik; a respected Dutch anatomist, castle owner, and guy almost certainly voted "most likely to collect jar-babies" in his high school yearbook.
Ah, wacky Gerardus. Always vroliking about.
His son, Willem, was also a celebrated professor, and together their massive assortment of oddities helped further the understanding of biology in the late 18th century. A noble endeavor, to be sure, but one that probably didn't get them invited to many dinner parties. Or at least, not invited back ...
Not once they saw the "housewarming gifts."
The Vroliks taught anatomy at the Athenaeum Illustre, forebear of today's University of Amsterdam. Somehow unafraid of the potential curses of thousands of malformed babies, the city of Amsterdam bought the morbid collection, and they now serve as study subjects for medical students at the university. Luckily, admission to the museum is free. But only because your tenuous grasp on sanity doesn't count as legal tender.
It's all part of Amsterdam's new "Who needs drugs?" campaign.
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist and editor. Contact him at email@example.com. Aaron Matthew Smith is a writer, cartoonist and designer who desires the approval of strangers more than anything. You can find him on Twitter and Tumblr.
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