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Five Reasons Why The Goth Taxidermy Trend Is Awesome

It's not too late to get excited about dead animals preserved in weird positions. They aren't going anywhere, after all. (Photo courtesy of illusionscene360.)

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1. It keeps a tiny bit of Morbid Anatomy, a legendary NYC museum of weirdness that closed, alive.

Walter Potter/Joana Ebenstein / Via morbidanatomy.blogspot.com

One of the best small museums in New York City (or anywhere) was the Morbid Anatomy Museum, a building full of dead stuff with a lecture space in the creepy, dark basement where you could go to listen to talks on everything from magick combats between satanist priests in nineteenth-century France to the various occult possibilities of the human eyeball. The whole upstairs was a treasure trove of scary shit in jars. But my favorite display was a Ferris Wheel whose passengers were tiny taxidermied squirrels.

Unfortunately, Morbid Anatomy closed in late 2016, making it kinda even more gothily awesome, in that "I love thinking sentimentally about stuff I can't do anymore, because I get to romanticize it without any risk of getting off the couch" kind of way.

2. Some people manage to elevate it to an art form.

Winged Squirrel by Katie Innamorato | Source: AfterlifeAnatomy.com / Via realclear.com

Speaking of taxidermists who used to show at the Morbid Anatomy Museum, Divya Anatharaman and Katie Innamorato call themselves "rogue taxidermists"—which means every dead thing they touch turns to a thing of beauty. The two women took the most macabre hobby on earth and infused it with a human sense of love for the animals, even in death. It sounds like a 90s-era Johnny Depp film begging to be resurrected. If I'm not mistaken, they were the culprits behind the squirrel Ferris Wheel, and they've been known to make earrings out of birds.

3. Some people degrade it into humor...

Crap Taxidermy / Via Twitter: @CrapTaxidermy

Aaaaand then there's Crap Taxidermy. What started out as a Twitter gag is now a book, full of—no big mystery here—hilariously and macabrely awful taxidermy mistakes that people decided to put on display despite their abject failure to do anything but make a mockery of the poor creature's life.

4. ...But those who degrade it into humor sometimes elevate it into charity.

Crap Taxidermy / Via craptaxidermy.com

Before you get too sad or upset about this gleeful riffing on death, remember: it's more important to help people (or other mammals) while they're still alive than to be all somber and serious after they die. And despite helping you laugh at the obscenely ugly "art" that people made out of poor little animals' dead bodies, Crap Taxidermy makes a donation to a shelter for living, breathing critters with every one of their horrifying, uber-goth books that you purchase. And yet still... (shudders).

5. It Gives You Hope When Your Pets Are Sick

Katie Stirner / Via katiestirner.com

I don't know if this is going to be for everybody, but I for one am glad the art form is alive and well. Because whenever I look at my cats, I think: "What an adorable face. I want to look at it forever. I hope you don't wind up on Crap Taxidermy, most darling kitty. Maybe this is the one time I shouldn't DIY."

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