University of Texas Lost 100 Human Brains

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The University of Texas at Austin had misplaced roughly 100 human brains that were stored in jars of formaldehyde, school officials said Tuesday.

While the vast majority of the former owners of the brains were never identified whenever the university would acquire them, one of the missing brains is believed to be that of ex-Marine Charles Whitman, who was gunned down by police after killing 16 people in a 1966 sniping rampage from the top of a campus clock tower.

Approximately 200 brains were moved from Austin State Hospital to the university roughly 30 years ago, though the psychology lab only had room for half of them. The remaining brains were stored in a basement.

Regarding the missing brains, psychology professor Lawrence Cormack commented, "It's entirely possible word got around among undergraduates and people started swiping them for living rooms or Halloween pranks."

The University of Texas at Austin looked into the whereabouts of the lost brains, and an investigation revealed that the missing brains were actually destroyed, roughly 12 years ago.

After faculty members deemed that the brains were of no use for teaching, environmental workers disposed of between 40 and 60 jars, some of which contained multiple brains. The university pledged to delve further into exactly which brains were lost, and said in a statement, "As researchers and teachers, we understand the potential scientific value of all of our holdings and take our roles as stewards of them very seriously."

University spokesman Gary Susswein said Wednesday, "It (the missing brains myth) may have been an urban legend that developed over the years," and added that the missing brains were disposed of "in accordance with protocols concerning biological waste."