Historian and author Ambeth Ocampo showed what are apparently Jose Rizal’s brain fragments preserved in a small bottle.
Since it is known that the hero’s remains are buried under the Luneta monument, netizens are amazed and shocked to find out that parts of his brain are apparently kept in a bottle.
In a Facebook post, the historian uploaded a photo of the bottle and shared brief information about it.
“Most of Rizal’s mortal remains are buried under the monument in Luneta, except a bit of his backbone preserved in Fort Santiago. The chipped bone is believed to be the spot where the bullet hit him on December 30,1896,” he wrote.
What made it more interesting is that Jose Rizal’s eldest sister, Saturnina Hildalgo, was reportedly the one who kept his brain fragments in the bottle.
“I did not know till recently that Rizal’s eldest sister Saturnina kept fragments of the hero’s brain in a bottle. I presume the fragments were formerly preserved in alcohol that has since dried up,” he added.
Ambeth thanked Britz Hamoy, curator at Balay Hamoy Museum, and Dr. Francis Navarro, Director of the Ateneo de Manila University Archives, for showing him the relic.
Netizens expressed their curiosity and filled the comments sections with questions. Some wrote:
“Sir, if i may ask. does the container with fragments of Dr. Rizal’s brain includes preservative chemicals such as formalin as found in this picture? just curious how this was preserved over time.”
“Is it really brain matter? How did Saturnina get a hold of it? Can it be studied under the microscope like what they did to Einstein’s brain sample?”
“Does brain matter harden like that? I always imagined brain would be soft like other internal organs.”
Ambeth also said he’s still researching the story and context of the preserved brain fragments.
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