Happy Halloween

In keeping with the macabre nature of the day, we present Galileo’s Index Finger.

Galileo's Index Finger Bones

Galileo’s index finger bones. On display at the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy. Photo by Edward Dick, Jr.

Now residing in the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy this finger from Galileo’s right hand was removed by historian Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti during a ceremony on March 12, 1737. Galileo’s remains were unearthed and moved to a prominent tomb in the main body of the church of Santa Croce.   A middle finger, a thumb, a tooth and a vertebra were also removed.

This finger, along with the thumb and tooth, disappeared in 1905, only to be rediscovered in 2009.