Congrats to Philly’s Mütter Museum for making the New York Times top ten coolest museum list! Here is the museum’s famous dried human large intestine specimen alongside the megacolon plush we made for the Mütter’s gift shop. Their enormous 9-foot megacolon once belonged to Balloon Man, whose distended belly earned him a living as a sideshow attraction. Megacolon, aka Hirschsprung’s disease, is a condition where the bowel doesn’t have enough nerve endings to tell your body to send poop to the rectum. Hirschsprung’s is treatable now, but back in the 1800s, the condition could be fatal. Balloon man died at age 29 from chronic constipation — he often went for a month without a bowel movement — with 40 pounds of feces in his colon. 💩 We are mega happy for you, Mütter!
Our mini megacolon had the chance to meet the real Megacolon at Philadelphia's Mütter Museum this weekend. They caught up on all things digestive, swapped stories and had a grand old time. We learned a little more about the Megacolon's former owner, a man who performed as the "human balloon" in Philadelphia's Dime Museum sideshows until his death at age 29. His colon contained 40 pounds of feces and the specimen is 9 feet long. The Mutter Museum collection belongs to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Philadelphia, and houses an incredible collection of medical history, including specimens, instruments, medical oddities, wax replicas of the human body, gangrenous feet in jars, 70-lb ovarian tumors, conjoined twins (also in a jar) and so on. There's drawer after drawer devoted to things people have swallowed, skeletons, slices of Einstein's brain and so much more. If you're ever close to Philly, it's a must-see! And don't forget to visit the fantastic gift shop, where you will find our special exclusive Megacolon plush (makes a conversation-stopping airplane pillow: "What's that around your neck?" "It's a happy replica of a diseased colon.").