100 brains were missing in Texas, and this has nothing to do with exams

Posted at 11:23 PM, Dec 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-04 23:23:02-05

Maybe you've heard about the 100 human brains missing in Texas?

Sure, we're always joking about losing our minds, but when word circulated that the University of Texas had lost 100 brains, it was sort of -- mind-blowing.

So, how could they lose 100 brains?

Adam Voorhes took these photos of brains from the University Of Texas Austin collection.

They were given to the University by the Austin state mental hospital some three decades ago.

But even as he was photographing them for a book entitled "Malformed" he was hearing that half of the collection was missing and curators were speculating about where they went.

“Maybe a student walked off with one but students walking off with 100 brains, like that, I mean, come on, no way," Voorhes said.

Among the brains believed to be in the collection was that of Charles Whitman, the sniper who went on a killing spree from atop the University of Texas clock tower in 1966.

Voorhes was trying to capture the unsettling look of the brains of mental patients.

"Well, they weren't shaped right, you know?," he said. One had no folds, completely smooth. Another had a hole.

But the hole in the story of the missing brains became the buzz.

"100 brains missing."

But wait, according to one of the collection's co-curators "100 missing brains found in Texas! Really."

Actually, not really.

The university finally announced "brain specimens were disposed of by environmental workers in 2002."

There hasn't been this much brain storming about disembodied brains since Steve Martin played a neurosurgeon romancing one.

The University says faculty members "determined that the specimens had been in poor condition... and were not suitable for research or teaching."

Workers "disposed of between 40 and 60 jars, some of which contained multiple human brains."

The question is will heads roll over the "brain drain."

Give one to the scarecrow.