As we all know, eBay was the first real wild west of the internet back in the day. Of course, with more money came more regulations, which means that it’s hard to find strange and borderline illegal items for sale on eBay anymore.
Unless you’re looking for human skulls, that is. Yes, I said human skulls. In fact, until very recently, it was pretty darned easy to get your hands on someone else’s noggin thanks to a bizarre loophole.
Over the course of a few months, the staff at the Louisiana Department of Justice in Baton Rouge conducted a morbid study.
They tracked the sale of human skulls on eBay. During their seven-month investigation, 237 people listed 454 skulls for sale. The highest opening bid was $5,500 and the lowest was just one cent.
Technically, selling human skulls online is a violation of the company’s terms of service. There was a loophole, however, that claimed it was okay if they were sold for medical research. That being said, there’s really no way to regulate what people do with their eBay purchases.
The majority of skulls for sale came from California, followed closely by Missouri.
According to investigators, not all of the skulls were donated to science. Some probably came from archaeological digs or from police investigations.
Since the report was released last week, eBay has announced a change to their terms of service to ban all sales of human body parts with the exception of hair.
(via New Scientist)
Well, I guess I missed my chance to snag one of these. Blast you, researchers!