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The time has come to get our Nancy Drew big girl pants on, you guys. Your Mortician has been stumped. I got a letter from an Order reader, Priyaa Treu, with the following question.

“Yesterday, fumbling around while cleaning out a storage unit of my dad’s, I came across a face of a skull. My father said he acquired it when a friend who worked at a crematorium gave it to him, saying that “Bones don’t always burn up in the oven”. I am interested in the colouring of the bones. It is mostly reddish, with white and grey patches, especially on the teeth. Any reason why? A couple photos are attached.”

First of all, if I was cleaning out a storage unit and that skull was like “hi thuur” I would NOT be having it. I’m a death worker and I still wouldn’t be having it.

Second, I’ve never seen a skull looking like that after a cremation before. There are usually piles of bones (and sometimes complete skulls) after a cremation takes place. But they are incredibly fragile and don’t usually last that long before crumbling. Priyaa says that this skull is very sturdy.

Post-cremation bones are also white, and sometimes black, but never this deep reddish color, more like a mummified skull. But a worker at a crematorium (who, by the way, is apparently handing out skulls to his bro friends, way to do us proud there) likely wouldn’t have access to decomposed remains. So it has to be something in the cremation.

Any ideas, deathlings?



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