In a warehouse outside the city of Moore, Oklahoma (birthplace of Toby Keith Y’all) you will find one of the best museums I have ever been to in my morbid life. Sharing a wall with Skulls Inc., the Museum of Osteology is the brainchild of bone rearticulating professional Jay Villemarette. Osteology is the scientific study of bones, their form and function. Completed in October of 2010, the Museum of Osteology features over 300 skeleton, including a few human ones. Currently the Museum holds the largest privately owned collection of osteological specimens in the world.
When you first walk into the building, the left hand side features a window with a smiling museum employee offering to sell you a ticket. To the left, is where the fun begins. A terrarium is set into the wall with a series of “flesh eating” or Dermestid Beatles, chomping away happily on whatever dead flesh is available to them. They are tiny little creatures, all moving around. The beatles eat only dead flesh, so don’t worry about them coming after a very alive you. The coolest part is that there is a small sign to let you know what exactly the beatles are eating. When I visited, they were taking care of the leg bone of a lion. Cameras are welcome, and in fact encouraged! After all, the Museum has been featured on shows like Dirty Jobs and even have their own special on Netflix named Skulls Inc.
The walls, even in the waiting room, are decorated with animals skulls from all over, and a diorama is set up of a lion attacking its prey.
Inside, however, is where the magic happens. The Museum is two levels, featuring a scavenger hunt for not only kids, but adults who want to participate. The scavenger hunt is, of course, optional. A giant giraffe skeleton welcomes you, while a whale skeleton is suspended overhead. All the exhibits are categorized by theme, so it’s very easy to find what you’re looking for.
Make sure to look out for the skull of a monkey from the United States space program, a 3D model of the owners skull and the skeleton of a man affected by dwarfism. My personal favorite was a racoon rearticulated to look as if he was eating out of a box of Milk Duds.
The gift shop is even cool. Small animal skeletons are available, some at discount if they were damaged. A giant display case offers human skulls, but be prepared to spend about a $1,000 if that’s what you’re looking for.
The Museum of Osteology is located at 10301 South Sunnylane Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73160
Phone: (405) 814-0006
Children under 3 are free with paid adult
Children 3 through 12 are $6.00
Adults 13 and up are $7.00
All Photographs for this article by Lady Victoria Irwin, by permission of the Museum of Osteology which encourages the photography of it’s visitors.