Mummified Manhood Of An Executed 18th-Century Man Sold For $128,000.00

Forget Tutankhamun or the Basilica of the Holy Blood, this is the only object a museum needs: The penis of a man who got an erection while being executed by hanging.

The prized penis was recently acquired by the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History in Hackney, London. The artifact costs more than £100,000 ($128,000) to buy, so the museum is currently renting it for £2,500 ($3,200). The penis, aka "the world's longest standing erection", will remain on display for the next year.

"It was removed from an 18th century Englishman who was hanged," Viktor Wynd, the museum's curator, told MailOnline. "When people were hanged they'd nearly always get erections and nearly always release their seed."

Indeed, death by hanging is often reported to be closely followed by a boner. The phenomenon, colloquially known as “angel lust”, is often attributed to pressure on the cerebellum created by the noose “exciting” the nerves.

The book The Evaluation of Sexual Disorders: Psychological and Medical Aspects notes: "Men subjected to capital punishment by hanging and laboratory animals sacrificed with cervical dislocation have terminal erections. The implication is that either central inhibition of erection is released and erection created or that a sudden massive spinal cord stimulus generates an erectile response. There is ample experimental and clinical evidence to support the former supposition."  

These "curiosities" were once common in the Wunderkammen of Europe. Oskar Proctor/The Viktor Wynd Museum
The museum is modelled on the idea of a “cabinet of curiosity”, also known as a “Wunderkammern”. These establishments were popular during Renaissance Europe as an early predecessor to the modern museum. The purpose of these places was not to catalog and educate, like a modern museum, but instead to provoke curiosity and boast the wealth of the collector.

As such, this type of "museum" was often filled with pseudoscientific objects with no bearing in reality. The authenticity of this object has not been verified by independent sources, however Wynd claims there is some historical evidence to suggest that this could be the real deal.

Wynd added: “Body parts were frequent perquisites of executioners and many different parts were supposed to have magical properties. For example, there is something called the 'Hands of Glory' – which is the mummified hands of hanged men which were believed to be extremely powerful.”

Keeping in this vein, the Viktor Wynd Museum is filled with a blend of oddities from the fields of medicine, 19th-century pseudoscience, and the natural world. Other collections include taxidermy, old medical equipment, ancient Chinese sex toys, extinct bird feathers, McDonald's Happy Meal Toys, bizarre artifacts of modern pop culture, and pretty much anything that's downright quirky.  

The world's longest standing erection" will remain on display for the next year. Oskar Proctor/The Viktor Wynd Museum