Investigators in Chicago are working to determine if a "potentially legitimate" shipment of severed human heads is, in fact, legitimate.

"We need to make sure that they are truly used for medical research purposes," said Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Brian Bell.

Shipments like these are far from uncommon. Heads, arms, legs, and other dissociated body parts are actually boxed up and flown from place-to-place more often than most people probably realize. I once worked in an orthopaedics lab where severed human parts were coming and going on an almost daily basis. Speaking from experience, when something becomes such a common part of your day-to-day, it's easy to become nonchalant about it (even when that thing is dismembered bodies) which totally explains Bell's amusingly blasé attitude about the whole thing:

"Everybody here is 'Oh my gosh, you got a box of heads,'" Bell told local reporters, adding: "It is a potentially legitimate medical shipment. We've seen it at various ports in the nation."

Via CBS Chicago:

Bell declined to say where the package was shipped from [various outlets claim "Italy"], where its intended destination is [if sources are to be believed, the intended destination is a facility that is "under investigation" — though said investigation is "absolutely not" connected to the packaged heads], or how the heads were packaged and preserved [probably chilled, wrapped, and insulated in a cooler of some sort].


Authorities did indicate, however, that the heads, which were sent to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office for inspection, "are still covered in skin" — which, you know, isn't a creepy way to describe them, at all.

[CBS Chicago]

Top image via shutterstock

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