Bizarre Bodies: Coffin Birth

Sometimes the bizarre overlaps with the morbid, so you will have to forgive me if you were expecting a less disgusting and tragic post. If it is shocking, surprising or unexpected, it will eventually find its way on this blog, which is why we are going to talk about coffin birth today. This phenomenon is also known as postmortem fetal extrusion. Yes, it is precisely what it sounds like. Let's continue.

When a pregnant woman dies, if the fetus is not developed enough for extraction and subsequently extracted, it inevitably dies with its mother. It will often remain encased in her womb and is buried with her. Given the right circumstances, the bloating and pressure that comes as a body decomposes will push the baby out of the womb. Mind you, the fetus is dead like its mother. This is quite different from a baby that is born from a dying or just dead mother.

Interestingly, a dead female's uterus will be pushed out in these scenarios, whether there is a fetus in it or not. Gruesome, yes, but both are very rare and made even rarer by modern embalming techniques. It is not that embalming makes it so the fetus could not be pushed out, but rather it prevents the gas from building up in the first place by killing the bacteria that leads to it.

Enjoy your dinner.

The Bizarre Experiments of Carl Vaernet

Among some of the most outrageous human rights abuses of World War II are the acts of Nazi doctors in concentration camps. Many of them used the prisoner populations immediately available in these camps to conduct nightmarish human experiments. All of these incidences are bizarre in their disregard for the humanity of their subjects, though some are little known. Among the less infamous cases is the work of Carl Vaernet. This doctor was interested in finding a hormonal cure for homosexuality.

While Carl Vaernet was not nearly as prolific as well-known monsters like Josef Mengele, he was no less monstrous. His experiments included injections into the testicles of male prisoners at Buchenwald and surgical implantation of artificial testosterone glands into the groins of 17 prisoners. Interestingly, not all of these men were homosexual. Perhaps he simply wanted to test the viability of the gland. Whatever the case may be, two of his subjects died from subsequent infections after surgery. That is one way to cure homosexuality and likely the only "success" the doctor ever had.

Clearly, the ideas proposed by Vaernet were medically unfounded. Today, we would even consider them absurd. Then, they caught the attention of Heinrich Himmler, who made it possible for Vaernet to conduct his experiments, but even the insane doctors employed by the Nazi party realized there was no merit to Vaernet's research, but the war ended very quickly after his experiments in 1944. He was captured and managed to escape (allegedly with the help of Great Britain). He died in Argentina in 1965.