Galileo's Middle Finger

Galileo's Middle Finger

March 12, 1737 - On this day the remains of Italian astonomer Galileo, who had been dead for almost 100 years, were being moved to a new grave in Florence. In the process, someone chopped off three of his fingers and yanked out the only tooth remaining in his jaw.

Galileo's middle finger wound up inside a glass egg on display at a science museum in Florence. The other relics would eventually vanish, having been catalogued for the last time in 1905.

Another hundred years rolled by before the tooth and two missing fingers were finally rediscovered at an auction in 2009. They have since been reunited with Galileo's middle finger and are proudly on display alongside some of his scientific instruments in the Museo Galileo.

Galileo invented the telescope and his observations of the planets drove him to the blasphemous conclusion that the earth was not the center of the universe.

The Catholic church wasn't a fan, and in 1634 under threat of torture Galileo was forced to recant. He lived the last nine years of his life under house arrest.

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