Not What Your Tuition Money Paid For: 100 Bodies Found In University Basement

university of cologneSending your kids to college is more expensive than ever, specifically in the United States, so parents are generally looking to get more bang for that buck. Smaller class sizes, renowned professors, and a flashy university brand are all what parents are shelling out for these days. But for those parents who shipped their kids off to University of Cologne in Germany, recent findings in a basement reveal that the university was housing a “scene from a horror film” to quote msnbc.

The University of Cologne staff reportedly discovered an abandoned basement littered with corpses donated to science. Among over the 100 bodies, staff also discovered buckets marked “shark heads, ” “newborns,”  and “noses.” In true horror film fashion, the room was discovered after the cooling vent broke and “putrid” smells began to emanate. Reports indicate that the basement had been abandoned for over a decade and when campus rumors began to brim, the head of the institute of anatomy, Professor Jürgen Koebke, was found dead. The 66-year-old who was reportedly respected by students and staff was discovered under a Cologne bridge and authorities believe that he stabbed himself.

He also left a note indicating “irregularities” in his institute. But The Guardian reports that the abandoned room has more to do with cutting costs with medical students than any sort of morbid tendencies:

The scandal has brought into focus the practice of donating corpses to anatomical institutes for medical purposes. While long popular in Germany, the trend has greatly increased over the past decade since the government scrapped state support for funeral costs leaving people looking for ways to save money.

Institutes have had to find ways of ensuring they do not take more corpses than they need for the purposes of training medical students, as supply has greatly exceeded demand.

The university is apparently “deeply shattered and shocked” by the findings as are many of the parents, I imagine. The campus is still subject to an ongoing investigation and, most likely, an earful from mothers and fathers.

(photo: Shutterstock)

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