Largest Museum Collection of Brains in Peru

There’s only one place in the world where you can view row after row of brains afflicted by mad cow disease, Alzheimer’s, and alcoholism. It’s Lima’s Museo de Cerebros, home to the largest collection of gray matter that can be viewed by the public. More than 3,000 samples of diseased brains and fetuses have been assembled by neuropathologist Diana Rivas for the Brain Museum. The museum is part of Peru’s Institute of Neurological Science, and while academics come from around the world to examine Rivas’ collection, she’s much more interested in educating the public about brain disease. She hopes that, if folks can see her damaged brains firsthand, they’ll think more about the health of their own noggins. The Brain Museum isn’t quite the largest collection of brains in the world. Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center at McLean Hospital has around 7,000 specimens, but it’s brains aren’t open to the public. So just how has Rivas amassed such an impressive collection? It helps that she supervises 100 autopsies a year, giving her the first look at potential new candidates.  

Image: Brain Museum [Atlas Obscura] Diseased brains on display at Peru Museum. Source: