What is a skull? Well, according to Merriam-Webster, the formal definition is "the skeleton of the head of a vertebrate forming a bony or cartilaginous case that encloses and protects the brain and chief sense organs and supports the jaws," or quite simply, "the structure of bones that form the head and face of a person or animal." Yet, the skull is so much more than that. It is used for symbolism in all kinds of cultures, and is sometimes portrayed as a good sign or (to some people) a bad omen. A Buddhist may see a skull as a sign of a deity that is corrupt, but to someone who creates an enticing piece of artwork from it may find it beautiful. A skull, along with crossbones, are used to depict a poisonous substance that is inside a container that it may be in. The fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, thought that skulls were lovely enough to create handbags and scarves that included the prints. It simply all depends on who is looking at it. In using some types of Tarot cards, the Death card is represented with a skull, and it normally signifies a new beginning, which is not malicious at all. People confuse this card, thinking that it means they are going to die; which is not true at all.
People have used skulls as symbols for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Today we see skulls and think of death, but crystal skulls are perceived to mean life. The crystal skulls were used in ancient civilizations and were thought to have magical powers. In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Yorick is a character that has been buried and then his skull is unearthed. Hamlet then speaks to him, believing that he is his long-lost friend, Horatio. Paintings have been created of Hamlet and his long-lost pal's head, showing the character sometimes holding, and sometimes standing next to, the skull.
There are many people who love skulls, and there are so many different uses for them. Mexico celebrates the Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, to honor the dead, in which skulls are found throughout the celebration. There is a society that is called Skull and Bones, and there is even a cup that was made from a skull of an enemy. In certain areas, there are racks that display skulls and there is even one that has skulls lining a cave that visitors can witness when visiting the area. Some people like skulls, some don't. We simply need to acknowledge that as long as people exist, human skulls will always be around.
15 Used for Medical Research
14 Make It the Main Character in a Movie
This is yet another example of how people have different tastes. The movie, Ghostrider, is a movie with Nicolas Cage in which he sells his soul to the Devil, and then falls in love with Eva Mendes (or at least her character in the movie). Being a fan of Marvel Comics and Stan Lee (the creator of the movie), I personally loved the movie. Granted, it does have its gory and cheesy moments, but those are the types of movies I typically go towards when picking out a film.
13 Dress It Up To Make It Look Like a Person
There is always that person with the sick sense of humor who thinks that dressing a skeleton to make it look like it's still alive is pretty funny. Okay, so it (more often than not) is comical when someone does that. Perhaps that person doesn't really have a sick sense of humor, maybe they have a pretty good one and just don't realize that it might be illegal to use the remains of a dead person for their personal enjoyment. Well, for practical jokes, anyway.
12 Protest Against the Government
In the 2015 elections, Maryse Narcisse was running for president of Haiti. It was time for an election during October, and it appeared that there was mass corruption, and violence had ensued during a previous period. The people of Haiti just wanted fair elections, and it seemed as if the government did not want this to happen. Maryse would have been the first woman to be elected in Haiti as president in history, and a lot of the government officials were fighting so this wouldn't happen. Residents went to the streets to protest against the government, using skulls as symbols for the corrupt current regime, and they were tired of what had been going on in the past.
11 Lock it Up Because it Has a Bullet in It (And It Belonged to Hitler)
Adolf Hitler was arguably the worst ruler in history. He led Nazi Germany for eleven years (from 1934 to 1945), was responsible for executing millions of people, and was the sole reason for World War II. He took his own life after he was taken down, and there are very few people on Earth who would think that this man was anything but horrible. So why in the world would someone want something that belonged to him? The only answer I can think of is that there are historians who want to have items simply because they have significant meaning in history, and they can tell everyone that they have it.
10 Create an Anti-Smoking Ad
9 Grateful Dead's Logo
The Grateful Dead was formed in 1965 during the "hippie movement" and was around for decades up until 2015, which was their last concert series. The Dead (as they are commonly referred) had many followers, and fans, called Deadheads, would travel from city to city to see them perform. One of their lead singers, Jerry Garcia, passed away in 1995, and many thought that that was the end of the band. This did not cause the death of The Dead, as they still performed with help from Bob Weir and other people who would step in on occasion to fill in on lead vocals. It seemed like the end of an era, but the entire premise of the band still lives on. They were about peace and love, and during their time had sold over 35 million albums throughout the world.
8 Make It a Paperweight or a Bookmark
7 Turn it Into a Freaky-Cool-Melty Piece of Art
6 Crime Scene Investigation Assistance
If you have ever seen any of the television shows where they are trying to find out who the murderer is, there is almost always a small white room where the technicians are struggling trying to figure it out. Usually they seem to sum up the entire plot, including the perpetrator, within a very short amount of time. They take a small sample, send it away to "the lab" (which is just around the corner, normally), and within minutes the answers are revealed.
5 Make It a Candle Holder
4 Mascot for Iron Maiden (Eddie)
Iron Maiden is a heavy metal band that has been around for over forty years. They have 16 studio albums, but they also have so many other LPs, that it would be almost impossible to count them all. Dave Beasly was the band's stage manager when Iron Maiden first got together, and basically created their mascot. They had made an ongoing joke out of a head (that would spit out blood) that Dave had constructed, and had put it over the drummer when they played in front of an audience.
They wanted to be unique, and that is exactly what they got. According to sources, the story goes, "'A woman had given birth to just a head, the doctor told her she needn't worry since he would come up with a suitable body for good 'ole Eddie within a year or five. So five years later Eddie's father entered the room on Eddie's birthday and said: "well today's your birthday, and boy do we have a surprise for you!" after which Eddie replied: "Oh no!, not another bloody hat!"'
3 Props in a Horror Movie
Did you ever see the movie, Poltergeist? I had seen this movie as a child, and to this day, I still get freaked out whenever I see an empty swimming pool or hear the words: "Just drive away." It was something that stayed in my mind for decades, and the reason for that is the amount of skulls that were used as props in one of the scariest movies ever written.
2 Halloween Decorations
Oh, my favorite holiday; Halloween. It is the day where people dress up, go trick-or-treating, visit haunted houses, perform pranks and decorate their homes to scare others out of their skulls (pun intended). Those skulls are then used for decoration (not the actual ones from those scared), creating potions, and magic is the top priority of the day. The entire month of October is usually dedicated to the dead, and it is the perfect time for skulls and skeletons.
1 Create Beautiful Jewelry Out of It
Having a jewelry design business, I know first-hand what it's like to create jewelry out of skulls. Indubitably, you cannot make a necklace out of an actual skull, but you can buy or even make skulls from several different mediums. It may sound a bit strange, but skulls are one of my most popular selling items in my web-store. One, in particular, is a skull necklace and earrings set that are made from rose quartz and clear crystals. They have a design and creation that have special meaning behind them. The rose quartz is considered "the stone of love," and one of the theories behind the meaning is that whoever wears it will be lucky in the favors of love. The quartz crystals used supposedly have special healing properties, and are meant to enhance energy to those who wear it. People normally buy and wear these pieces not just for its healing properties, but because they look really pretty, even though they are skulls.
Sources: weburbanist.com, aljazeera.com, miamiherald.com, bbc.co.uk, omgfacts.com
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