Being Bones IRL (AKA We Kinda Solved A Case With Actual Dead Bodies & It Was Awesome)
A human head decomposes way quicker than a torso - who knew?
With Bones Season 12 hitting DVD this week, we decided to mark the occasion by messing around with actual dead bodies because that’s kind of how we roll.
Okay, so by ‘messing around’ we mean ‘respectfully learning how to identify gender using only skeletons’ and by ‘actual dead bodies’ we mean ‘examining the bones of people who have been dead so long they remember when Katy Perry and Taylor Swift were friends’ (roughly 100 years ago).
We were guided on our quest by the brilliant Dr Carolyn Rando, who’s so cool she a) has some very bad-ass tattoos and b) was more than happy to answer our questions about the likelihood of zombies actually happening (they are SUPER likely, you guys - academic studies are being done on them and everything).
After we sat on the veranda casually chatting about how long bodies take to decompose (as it turns out, the head decomposes way quicker than the torso, which means a typical corpse discovery will involve finding a body with a skull-head and normal frame, which means they basically look like Ghost Rider), we got to the task in hand - getting our Bones on to solve a potential crime.
First, we listened to an awesome presentation (which featured a warning that we were about to see real dead bodies, which turned out to be a pig), before being handed a skull to examine.
After refusing to wear gloves because we’re metal (and, to be fair, they were optional), we got down to the business of working out the sex of the skeleton, based on the information we’d been given (which included a printed sheet with terms like ‘Nuchal Crest’ and ‘Supra-Orbital Glabella’).
We looked at stuff like a nub on the back of the skull (the bigger it is the more likely it is to be male), a bone just below the ear (again, the bigger it is, the more dude-like the skull is) and something called ‘Mental Eminence’ (which, believe it or not isn’t a) anything to do with the brain and b) isn’t a Metallica album - it’s actually a fancy word for the chin), then guessed we were examining a female skull. And we were right!
Next, we were shown how to identify different kinds of MURDER, which was very exciting/scary.
Basically, if you ever need to know if someone’s been shot, stabbed, or received blunt force trauma from a baseball bat, hammer or whatever, then… don’t ask us - what are you doing? Go to the police right now.
After being shown skulls that had been shot with guns, arrows and goodness knows what, we were ready to solve a crime by reconstructing a box of actual bones into a skeleton.
Following some careful examination, we deduced that the victim had fallen down some stairs. We were congratulated for getting the category right; blunt force trauma FTW (not something we ever thought we'd write).
But then we were informed that the person had actually been hit by a large truck, which is probably a bit more intense than falling down some stairs.
So, we might not be the next Dr Temperance Brennan but we did have a super fascinating day, and we totally broke out a Bones boxset to binge with pizza later that evening. And we’re preeeetty sure we remembered to wash our hands first.
By Sam Ashurst
BONES SEASON 12 IS AVAILABLE ON DVD ON 19TH JUNE, COURTESY OF TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT