The Middle Finger of Galileo

middle finger galileo
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The finger is an irony; it is kept in a shrine even though it never belonged to any saint. The long, bony finger belongs to the church’s enemy, the heretic; it belongs to someone who never believed in something that the others did!

Just like you wait long enough to get the most wonderful wine for your veins, Anton Francesco Gori waited for a long time to take off the finger from Galileo’s skeletal hand. The finger was removed on 12th of March, 1737, 93 years after the death of Galileo. Even though it visited several places, it finally rested in the Florence History of Science Museum.

Galileo’s Spare Parts:

middle finger galileo
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In the year 2009, a tooth, along with two more fingers, were found at an auction; these parts belonged to Galileo, as well. Shockingly, the parts had vanished in the year 1905 and were not found for around 100 years. Later, the purchaser was unable to find its origin and had thus returned the spare parts to the Science Museum. A detailed description related to the match was given, when they were last observed.

The Finger at Present:

middle finger galileo
Image credit : Marc Roberts / flickr

At the moment, the middle finger of Galileo rests in a small egg made of glass. It is right amongst the telescopes and lodestones. It is the only fragment of a human in a museum that’s dedicated to scientific instruments, specifically. No doubt it’s difficult to find out Galileo’s reaction about his middle finger’s story, we wish we could find out about it. The final resting place of his finger is like a throne designed for it between the other things at the museum. The finger points upwards towards the sky, where the popular Italian astronomer learned about the universe and found his God in Math.

h/t : atlasobscura

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