Brain Museum – Lima, Peru - Atlas Obscura

Brain Museum

Tucked behind the Institute of Neurological Science down a decrepit street resides the largest display of human brains in Latin America.  


The Brain Museum in Lima is not for those with weak stomachs. Run by Neuropathologist Diana Rivas, this one-of-a-kind collection contains over 3,000 examples of damaged brains and fetuses, displaying abnormalities caused by an array of neurological diseases, psychiatric disorders, and substance abuse damage.

Primarily existing as a must-see for neurology students and other academics in the field, the Brain Museum is also open to the public, in part to spread awareness of preventable brain diseases using formaldehyde-filled jars of the afflictions as a striking visual. The modestly-sized museum is packed with morbid examples of stroke, Alzheimer’s, tumors and trichinosis, but the star of the show is the Creutzfeld-Jacob disease specimen, commonly known as the human strain of mad cow disease.

Collecting brains and deformed fetuses since 1947, the museum also houses an autopsy room where Dr. Rivas supervises 100 autopsies a year, allowing her the convenience of hand-picking new residents for her shelves.

Know Before You Go

Uber is best way to get here Beware of the hours as well, it's only open until 12:30 P.M.

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