BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – The Barnum Museum says it has something very strange to reveal.

An “inexplicable specimen” is sitting in the Connecticut museum dedicated to the life and odd career of showman P.T. Barnum.

“I don’t really know how to classify it,” said executive director Kathleen Maher.

The “specimen” had been the property of a zoologist at the University of Wisconsin. Professor William Willars acquired the oddity back in 1984.

He tried unsuccessfully for 30 years to figure out what it was and where it came from. After he retired, he decided to give to the Barnum Museum.

“When it arrived here in an enormous wooden box and we opened, well, it frankly astounded me,” Maher said. “This peculiar skeletal assemblage of bones looks nothing like any living being that is known to modern man.”

Even experts are baffled.

Biologists at Quinnipiac University have been carefully examining the bones.“There’s no telling right now how old it is or whether it was actually a living thing.” says Jerry Conlogue, who has been working on a detailed image of the object.

The public will have a chance to see it for themselves on April 1st during the official unveiling at the Barnum Museum.

P.T. Barnum thrilled Americans in the years before the Civil War with a travelling assemblage of the bizarre and fantastical.

“I will admit that it would have fit perfectly in Barnum’s original Museum of Curiosities in New York City back in the 1840s, said Maher”

More information can be found at the Barnum Museum website.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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