Why the 18 Severed Heads at O'Hare Airport Might Not Be That Scary

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Eighteen human heads — that's four more heads than are on the Chicago Bulls roster — were discovered on their way through customs at Chicago's O'Hare airport last night. But, somehow, authorities said no foul play was involved, and this sort of shipment has actually been uncovered before. You know, for science. "Sources said the specimens are human heads, still covered in skin," reports the staff at the Chicago Sun-Times, adding that "no foul play was suspected." Now that's sort of macabre, because this is the stuff of Final Destination horror movies, but turns out it's not that out of the ordinary.

Back in 1986, 12 human heads were found in a UPS package. "A doctor in Philadelphia said he shipped the heads to a medical training facility in Colorado," reported the AP at the time. And in 2010, Southwest airline officials in Arkansas found "40 to 60" human heads at one of their cargo facilities. "In this particular instance, they were going to be used for educational training, which is routinely and commonly done," said a spokesman for Medtronic, the intended recipient.

So, yeah, as scary as a shipment of human heads sounds, it's most likely normal doctor stuff that a lot of us don't have to deal with. And in the next few days, someone from a medical facility will probably be claiming them. But just to make sure, U.S. Customs and Border Protection are investigating the parcel. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.