Help A Zoology Museum Solve The Mystery Of The Battery-Powered Opossum

Illustration for article titled Help A Zoology Museum Solve The Mystery Of The Battery-Powered Opossum

During his ten years working at the Grant Museum of Zoology in London, Jack Ashby has stumbled upon some odd mysteries. Why does the museum's collection include a plum in a jar? Who ate their Galapagos tortoise? And now, his latest, greatest conundrum: Why would someone stick a battery in a dead animal?

Ashby, who writes a blog called Specimen of the Week, came across two specimen jars: one containing a preserved opossum and the other containing a battery that had been removed from said opossum. The accompanying report has given him little to work with:

Specimen appears to have a rusty yellow colored tint and seems to be dyed in some way…..Yellow colored growth from stomach area transpired to be wads of cotton wool (orange tinted) which had been stuffed inside the specimen. On removal, a D-type Duracell battery was removed from the body cavity (organs seem to be removed).


So far, Ashby has been able to come up with two theories:

  • It was an experiment into the evolution of the Duracell Bunny.
  • Something terrible and Frankensteiny took place, only using a much lower voltage.

If you have a better theory, Ashby is asking readers to post their ideas in the comments section of his blog.

[Disclaimer: The Grant Museum does not endorse the insertion of batteries, or any other objects, into opossums.]


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They were preserving him with sodium chloride. So it's a cut and dried case of a salt and battery.