Ed Conrad (edconrad@prolog.net)
27 Nov 1996 13:22:49 GMT

Gee, I thought nobody would ever ask . . .

Well, it's not the ENTIRE human brain -- just one of the hemispheres.
But it, too, is petrified which, of course, the scientific community
has long insisted simply can't be.

After all, science's ``know-it-all's" and ``stuffed shirts" have long
maintained that soft organs can never petrify -- and, there for
awhile, they had me believing it, too.

Then, one day, a few years ago, while leafing through a scientific
textbook, I was surprised to read that petrified soft organs of
insects had been discovered -- and documented! Thus, I became
aware that science's blanket statement about the impossibility
of any soft organs petrifying was totally incorrect.

Well, anyway, this particular specimen -- what would turn out to be a
petrified hemisphere of a human brain -- had been sitting on the shelf
for almost a decade because it could not be identified.

However, when it came to the point -- in the early 1990's -- that I
realized I indeed had discovered a petrified human gall bladder (a
CATSCAN revealing it contained a gall stone) and other petrified soft
organs (for example, a human lung and human testacles), I decided to
re-examine the strange-looking specimen sitting on the shelf.

It was the one I had found at my original site just days after
discovering my first specimen of petrified bone -- that being a large
skull-shaped object which later was proven to contain a pair of
tooth-like inclusions in the jaw-like area (including the petrified
premolar shown hanging so majestically on Ted Holden's home page).

Still, even during the re-examination of the specimen which I insist
is a petrified hemisphere of a human brain -- measuring approximately
7 3/4 inches in longest length by 4 3/4 inches in widest width) -- I
continued to be stumped.

So it was returned to the dusty shelf even though, at this point, I
was aware that soft organs indeed can petrify. Nevertheless, this
particular specimen remained a real mystery from the standpoint of
comparative anatomy (human or otherwise).

What really had thrown me off about its possible identification from
Day One was its a pair of short ``horn-like" protrusions that extend
from one side. Naturally, I erroneously assumed they were horns.

Then, while watching TV one evening about four years ago, the
``Nature" program came on and, during the introduction, a complete
human brain showing both hemispheres appeared on the screen (minus the
skull), slowly began spinning around.

As I watched it spin, the answer hit me. Bingo! I knew what the
specimen was.

When held sideways, it bore a distinct resemblance to a hemisphere of
a human brain -- wrinkly and all -- and I suddenly knew that the pair
of strange short protrusions weren't horns after all.

All this time -- for almost a decade -- I had been examining the
specimen in the wrong way, assuming the protrusions should be topside.
However, the protrusions extended from one side.

These protrusions, of course, are nothing less than the brain's
connections to a human being's spinal cord.