Gigglebit: The mystery of 100 missing brains

5 Dec 2014

Texas saw the world’s biggest zombie mystery solved yesterday after 100 missing brains were found, before being lost and destroyed years earlier in a time-travel filled rubbish horror film-esque debacle.

The University of Texas in Austin reported that it was missing around half of its stock of human brains, preserved in jars of formaldehyde.

With just enough room for a suspiciously round number of 100 brains in the psychology lab, the rest were moved to the basement of the university’s Animal Resources Centre.

“They are no longer in the basement,” said psychology Professor Lawrence Cormack (who we doubt exists) in a line straight out of a rubbish horror movie.

And just like a rubbish horror movie, the reveal was similarly unenthusing. Someone called from another university, in San Antonio, to say they were just fine and they’d been at the school for years.

“They have the brains,” psychology professor Tim Schallert (who we doubt exists) told the Los Angeles Times. “They read a media report of the missing brains and they called to say, ‘We got those brains!’”

But wait, there was a twist. There’s always a twist.

It turns out the brains were destroyed ages ago, in Austin, for reasons too boring to get into. The San Antonio angle seems like one big fat lie amid a sea of waving lies.

This whole thing stinks of college prank on the media and, if so, it has worked a treat. Most US media outlets took up the story before more global news sources took the bait in the past 48 hours.

Here’s a brilliantly quaint video of the brain ‘heist’, including added details on Charles Whitman (who did exist), whose brain was originally – but not now – thought to be among those in the jars. Whitman shot dead 16 people in 1966, including his mother and his wife, with a high-powered rifle he fired from the 307-foot clock tower on campus.

So that’s a mystery (tick), a heist (tick), a zombie storyline (tick), the remains of a mass murder of a bygone time (tick), a mystery solved (tick) and a 180 degree twist at the end (tick).

Oh there’s one more twist. The source of this whole mess stemmed from the research of a local photographer, Adam Voorhes, who became fascinated with the all-but-forgotten collection and started asking questions. His photo book, Malformed: Forgotten Brains of the Texas State Mental Hospital, is due out this month.





Shameless plug (tick).

It will be very difficult to beat a story of missing brains solved by simple solving. Bring on 2015, what ya got?!






Zombie image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic