Osteology Everywhere: Edición ‘Bienvenido a España’

This sculpture sits at the entrance of Madrid’s Chamartín train station. While dragging fifty-plus pounds of luggage up a nearby escalator, I was struck by its resemblance to one specific bone from the human body.

Name both the element and the distinctive feature that makes it instantly recognizable in either archaeological or artistic contexts.

Chamartín sculpture

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8 Responses to Osteology Everywhere: Edición ‘Bienvenido a España’

  1. Madrid!! How are you liking it so far? I’m in love with this city and have published some articles about it such as “Top 11 Rooftops of Madrid” and architecture which are maybe useful to you too 😀

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  2. James R Lumbard says:

    Are we meant to be guessing?
    I’d say it reminds me of a thoracic vertebra towards the cranial end of the column – not much in the way of a body, but the neural spine isn’t bifurcated. However since you said it reminds you of one specific bone, I’d have to go for the stapes of the middle ear.
    As for the element, I’d have to say calcium given the bone connection as the sculpture looks like it may be marble…

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  3. JB says:

    Hi James,
    I was definitely thinking of a vertebra, but not a thoracic. You’d have to reorient part of the sculpture to get an accurate reproduction of the bone I see, but as it stands I see this as a kind of a melting, Dali-esque ode to the odontoid…

    Stapes was a good guess, however. I wasn’t thinking of that before, but now I can’t unsee it!
    – JB

    P.S. I was just using the term “element” as a synonym for “bone”.

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